Class sizes

The Herald on Sunday reports:

Primary schools have disclosed controversial data about pupil achievement, with the surprise revelation that children in bigger classes and bigger schools get better grades.

The Herald on Sunday has conducted a comprehensive survey of schools’ results, before the Ministry of Education publishes them this week.

At schools with fewer pupils for each teacher, around 70 per cent of children are achieving national standards in reading, writing and arithmetic. But at schools with more pupils for each teacher – in effect, bigger classes – the pass rates rise to about 80 per cent.

What would be interesting is to have the results broken down by decile and size. As low decile schools get more funding, they may have a smaller . That is only if they spend it on more teachers and not operational costs.

But regardless it backs my view that the impact of smaller class sizes is minimal, unless it is a massive difference. In other words a size of 15 will make a big difference compared to 30, but a class of 25 compared to a class of 27 will not.

It would have been nice of the HoS has told us their definitions of smaller and larger class sizes, so the calculation can be checked. There isn’t enough info in the story to verify it.

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