59% of infant classes have over 25 pupils, figures show
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have revealed Government statistics showing an increase in the number of Welsh pupils taught in large classes.
According to figures obtained by the independent Assembly research service, 71,724 pupils are now being taught in classes of 25 pupils or more in Wales, and 59% of all infant classes have 25 or more pupils in them. This is despite Estyn stating children perform best in classes of fewer than 25 pupils.
Class sizes are meant to be restricted to 30 (with permitted exceptions), yet in 2015 7,835 pupils were educated in classes of more than 30 pupils, up from 6,969 in 2013. Class sizes have been steadily increasing for each of the last three years.
Click here to back the Welsh Lib Dem plan for smaller class sizes.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams said:
“Teachers have consistently told us that with ballooning class sizes and mounting bureaucracy, they have less and less time to do what they do best: teach.
“We've listened to concerns from teachers and parents. That's why our top education priority is cutting class sizes, starting with our youngest children, to give teachers more time to spend with each pupil.
“We can only drive Wales forward when we have an education system that encourages every child to achieve their potential. Welsh Lib Dems are the party of education because we understand that education is the key to an individual's life-chances.
“Through getting the basics right in our education system and ensuring every teacher has the time to properly teach our children, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will deliver a Wales that works for you.”