London council has suggested the limit on infant class sizes should be extended beyond 30 pupils. Sutton council says this limit should be raised to allow 32 children in a class so that primary schools can cope better with the squeeze on primary places. The number of primary school pupils is expected to rise by over half a million between 2010 and 2018.
Liberal Democrat-controlled Sutton council has contacted other local authorities in the capital, asking for their support in a bid to change the law that restricts infant class sizes from going over 30 pupils. It is considering asking education secretary Michael Gove to change the law.
The council’s chief executive Niall Bolger, said in a letter that extra two pupils in each class “would have provided over 130 additional places, the equivalent of almost five classes.”
“My letter is a basic piece of research so that senior officers can present councilors with well-informed choices,” said Niall, reports the Guardian.
“There is a dreadful shortage of primary school places and we can’t ignore the situation, especially when our schools, which are some of the best in the country, are attracting so many families,” Niall stated.
However, not everyone agrees with Niall’s recommendations.
“Increasing class sized in our schools at this time is short-sighted, will threaten school standards, is unfair to our children and will endanger our economic prospects,” said Peter Walker, cabinet member for education for Merton council.