Almost one million children learning in classes of 31 or more pupils

The number of pupils being taught in class sizes of more than 31 has increased by 150,000 during the past five years, analysis shows.

It means that one in seven secondary students and one in eight primary pupils – almost one million children in total – are now educated in classrooms with more than 30 children.

There is further concern as the evidence shows that class sizes have risen faster in schools that teach the most deprived children.

The National Education Union (NEU) says that the “historic practice” of teaching poorer pupils in slightly smaller classes “has ceased over the last five years” due to the well documented real-terms cuts to schools funding.

The increases have hit hardest at secondary level. In 2010, 10.2 per cent of secondary students were in classes of more than 30. This figure drops to 9.6 per cent by 2015, but has since risen to 13.7 per cent by 2020.

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