Reduce class sizes now to achieve world-class education
We endorse the target of a maximum of 18 pupils in all P1-3 classes. We also urge that, once done, a further aim should be to extend this maximum year-on-year as these cohorts progress through primary school.
In secondaries, we would like to see maintained the commitment given by the previous administration of a maximum of 20 pupils in S1-2 English and maths classes, and this extended to all years and all subjects (practical subjects have this restriction).
Voice (Scotland) recognises that there will be implications for staffing resources and costs, and for accommodation and school design. Over the last few years, there has been increased investment in training more teachers, a number of whom are finding difficulty in securing permanent jobs.
This resource, coupled with the trend towards falling pupil rolls, creates an opportunity, given the political will, to start reducing class sizes. This would assist in the raising of attainment by improving a teacher's contact with individual pupils and would support the Scottish Government's aim of achieving a world-class standard of education for Scotland's children.
Maureen Laing, senior professional officer, Voice (Scotland), St Colm Street, Edinburgh.