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NASUWT Conference 2022 Teachers call on government to set maximum limits on class sizes

TEACHERS have voted for the government to set maximum limits on class sizes, as most say the issue is having a negative impact on their pupils’ progress.

A survey by the NASUWT teaching union, published at its annual conference in Birmingham on Sunday, found that three quarters of teachers said their class sizes were increasing.

More than a third (37 per cent) said their class sizes had increased significantly over the past five years, the poll of 3,000 teachers found.

Nine in 10 said their class size was having a negative impact on pupils’ progress and attainment, and felt this had a negative effect on pupils’ behaviour.

Higher numbers of pupils on school rolls and cuts to teaching staff and budgets were all cited as causing the problem.

Half of respondents said their class size had had a significant negative impact on their workload.

NASUWT member Fergal McGuckin said it was not only class size that was an issue but the increasing size of pupils themselves.

“I teach politics and history at GCSE and A level, and in recent years our class sizes have increased exponentially,” he said.

“It’s about budget cuts and it’s about getting bums on seats, particularly at A level. GCSE and A-level classes now routinely exceed 25-plus pupils.”

Delegates voted for the union to publish guidance to members on class size and for the union to lobby the government to introduce maximum class sizes at all key stages.

A Department for Education spokesman said it has created over one million extra school places between May 2010 and May 2021.

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