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Class Sizes: Coronavirus

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL14949, tabled on 14 April 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have to reduce school class sizes once restrictions in place to address the COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted.

Answered on

28 April 2021

The government has no plans to alter legislation on class sizes. Evidence does not show that smaller classes in the junior and secondary phases of education have an impact on attainment outcomes. Research has shown that smaller class sizes in the early years of school have a modest positive impact on attainment and behaviour. As such, legislation limits the size of an infant class to 30 pupils per teacher. Whilst there are limited exceptions to this rule, the average size of an infant class is 26.9 – well below the statutory limit.

The average size of all primary classes, including for infants, remains stable at 27.0 pupils, despite an increase of almost 800,000 pupils in the system since 2010.

There is no statutory limit to the size of secondary classes. It is up to secondary schools to decide on the organisation of such classes based on local needs and circumstances, ensuring they are consistent with raising attainment and helping pupils to achieve their potential. Average secondary class size remains low at only 22.0 pupils.