Targets to reduce class sizes must not be jettisoned

18th February 2011 at 00:00

I was pleased to read your survey of council class-size policies on S1-2 English and maths, as it would appear that the move to smaller classes in these areas is being quietly abandoned (TESS, 7 January).

We are very concerned that many more local authorities will be dropping the class-size target. Classes of 20 in S1-2 English and maths have made such a difference to teaching and learning, and have removed much of the frustration that comes with teaching large classes where many pupils' needs are ignored. How Curriculum for Excellence is to be implemented if we return to class sizes of 30 (or above) is anyone's guess.

Building the Curriculum 1 tells us that "to face the challenges of the 21st century, each young person needs to have confidence in using mathematical skills, and Scotland needs both specialist mathematicians and a highly numerate population".

Providing youngsters with "confidence in using mathematical skills" can only be done properly if we invest time in the development of these skills. The removal of the class-size target would therefore be a short- sighted decision.

Ruth Crawford, Old Mill, Tarland, Aboyne.

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