Maximum number of children in a Primary school class

(24 Posts)
GeoPuzzles Sun 23-Jan-11 23:10:09

hi
is there a maximum number of children that should be in a primray school class (state school I should say)?
and if that is exceeded should there be additional teaching staff?
thanks

Kewcumber Sun 23-Jan-11 23:11:07

its 30 isn;t it - well it is in our school.

elphabadefiesgravity Sun 23-Jan-11 23:23:17

It is 30 only in infants. From year 2 onwards there is no maximum except what is dictated by the physical size of the classroom/school.

ClenchedBottom Sun 23-Jan-11 23:24:57

elpha - sorry to be pedantic - so Y2 classes have no maximum? (I thought it was Y3 onwards but it's not my area so could easily be wrong)

MirandaWest Sun 23-Jan-11 23:31:50

Year 2 has maximum of 30 children. Infant Class Size regulations for reception year 1 and year 2.

ClenchedBottom Sun 23-Jan-11 23:33:51

Thank you - OP, sorry to hijack.

elphabadefiesgravity Mon 24-Jan-11 13:21:21

sorry, I meant Year 3 of course.

prh47bridge Mon 24-Jan-11 13:50:10

The advice already given is correct. To give the full answer...

If the majority of children in a class are in Reception, Y1 or Y2 there should be no more than 30 children with a single teacher. However, it is possible to go over this number if some of the children are "excepted children" and therefore don't count towards the limit. Children admitted as a result of successful appeals, for example, are excepted children for the rest of the academic year so there is no need for the school to do anything unless the class is still oversize the following September.

If the majority of children in the class are Y3 or later there is no maximum.

NightLark Mon 24-Jan-11 13:56:41

there are 31 in DS's reception class, and 31 in the other class in his year. The two classes have a teacher and a TA each, and share space. 62 children and four adults in one big space. I seriously considered private when I found this out...

mrz Mon 24-Jan-11 18:27:36

The TA doesn't count for ratios under infant class size the law one teacher to 30 children in reception Y1&2

admission Mon 24-Jan-11 19:59:04

On the face of it this school is breaking the Infant Class Size Regulations but what you need to discover is what is the Published Admission Number for the school. The obvious answer is 60 in which case you then need to establish how the extra 2 pupils were admitted. If they were admitted at appeal, then as per PRH's reply they will be considered excepted pupils for the rest of this year.
However if the admission number is 62 or anything else above 60 then the school must accept the pupils and should be taking appropriate action to ensure they meet the ICS regs. That is employ a further school teacher, not a TA.

NightLark Tue 25-Jan-11 14:47:03

I already know - the two were admitted on appeal. Nothing anyone can do about it. All schools round here are oversubscribed. A shame though, as DS is really struggling (he started in Jan) and his main worry it how crowded and noisy it is all the time.

13lucky Tue 25-Jan-11 20:33:18

My dd is in reception and has 32 in her class (30 in the other reception class). I've been told the 2 extra got in on appeal. There is one teacher and one TA in her class. On a Thursday and Friday there is also someone who is presume is a student teacher. I believe from what you say above this is legal because the 2 got in on appeal.

But what happens then when they go into Year 1 in September...will there have to be another qualified teacher (presuming none of the children leave?)

prh47bridge Tue 25-Jan-11 21:08:50

Provided the 2 extra were admitted on appeal it is indeed legal. If the situation does not change by September the school will have to do something about it. This could mean employing another qualified teacher or they could possibly solve the problem by adopting mixed year teaching.

Changeisagoodthing Tue 25-Jan-11 21:15:26

Or just stick them on the register of another class!

Or bump a few y2s into y3 and then a few y1s into y2 etc. Or put a few reception into nursery etc etc make y2and y3 parallel with more y3 in the biggest class.

Hundreds of schools are in default each year. Sometimes they call or send a letter but usually nothing happens and tbh it's not the biggest concern of the dfe.

LoisSanger Tue 25-Jan-11 21:33:51

DS's old school had an over number problem which was OK in reception due to having a mixed nursery/reception class with two teachers. Then was OK in Year 1 as they had two teachers for the first term. But then they moved one child into Year 2 and one down into Reception (the one who went down did have various SN but the way in which the movement happened, especially for the child who moved up was a bit odd tbh).

prh47bridge Tue 25-Jan-11 22:22:13

Putting children on the register of another class is not a valid way to deal with an infant class size problem.

Reclassifying which year children are in does not have any effect, quite apart from not being very sensible. Whilst we usually say the regulations apply to Reception, Y1 and Y2, they are actually based on age. They apply to classes where the majority of the children will attain the age of 5, 6 or 7 during the course of the school year regardless of which school year they are in.

If the school mix Y2 and Y3 such that the resulting classes have mainly Y3 children in them those classes are not subject to infant class size limits. They can then mix the remaining Y1 and Y2 children. That is the sensible approach to dealing with the problem without employing another teacher and is entirely within the regulations.

There are 8 categories of excepted children, i.e. children who don't count towards the class size limit. Children in two of these categories will remain excepted throughout their time in infants. Parents often think infant class size limits have been breached when in fact the presence of excepted children means they have not.

I don't know where you get your figure that "hundreds of schools are in default". I am not aware of any evidence that this is the case.

Enforcement is not down to the DfE. Local authorities carry the first responsibility for enforcing compliance. They are required to report to the Schools Adjudicator annually on whether or not all primary schools in their area are complying with infant class size regulations. Details then appear in the Schools Adjudicator's annual report and the Adjudicator ensures that LAs are working with the schools concerned to address any issues.

Some schools do, of course, fail to comply with the regulations. That will always be the case. There will always be schools/head teachers that think the rules don't apply to them. But the vast majority of primary schools do comply with infant class size regulations.

Changeisagoodthing Tue 25-Jan-11 23:17:59

I wasn't suggesting it was but that's what happens.

The dcsf sent figures and I think names for those in default in 2008 and 2009. There were hundreds. I will try and dig them out.

The dcsf as was contacted schools directly which was highly unusual. Some then minister did a speech about it as well.

Changeisagoodthing Tue 25-Jan-11 23:21:57

Found it. 29,000 infant children in classes more than 30.

Changeisagoodthing Tue 25-Jan-11 23:30:03

10,000 of the 29,000 (310 classes) were doing it illegally with permission. Jim knight was the minister in may 2009. Dcsf wrote to them and also asked ofsted to check up on it as well at the same time- can't say I have ever seen evidence that they did.

They also wrote to them in 2008 as well. 2009 saw a sharp increase. Probably in part due to incorrect recording of eyfs units.

prh47bridge Wed 26-Jan-11 00:54:29

The figures are for January 2009 although they were issued in May. If we ignore misreporting by the press who clearly don't understand the regulations (illegally with permission my foot!), there were 28,870 pupils in classes of over 30 - 890 classes. However, only 8,840 of them were in illegally large classes representing 280 classes.

For January 2010 the number of children in large classes has risen to 31,270 (1,000 classes). However, only 140 of these classes are illegally over size, with 4,470 pupils.

Changeisagoodthing Wed 26-Jan-11 14:49:58

It is a well intentioned but outdated regulation which whilst reasonable as a guide shouldn't be a finite rule.

It was brought in before the eyfs and before teaching assistants were widely used in schools. Infant classes are now much better staffed than in the 1990s.

It is ridiculous that if a reception class has 31 due to excepted pupil the school is expected to reorganize that class in y1. Emotionally and socially it is better to have a class of peers in y1 rather than rearrange potentially 2 or 3 classes and upset numerous friendship groups. 31 in the 1990s was usually 31 to one adult- now it is often 2 or sometimes more adults.

Eyfs units are the classic example of bureaucracy gone mad. Depending on how you register a joint reception and nursery class can put you in default. Same number of children- same number of adults- one organization legal and the other not due to the silliness of what makes an infant class an infant class and whether reception are in the majority or minority.

What should matter should be the quality of provision. I have been to dire classes with less than 20 in and excellent classes with over 30.

bitsyandbetty Wed 26-Jan-11 16:20:56

It depends how many teachers there are. There were 60 in my dd's reception class but it was a double classroom with three teachers and three TAs. It worked well. In KS2, the limit is much higher. Quite often there are 34/5 in my DS's classes from Year 3.

mrz Wed 26-Jan-11 17:34:03

Changeisagoodthing you have obviously never tried to get 31 children changed for PE unaided or even done up 31 zips many times a day if you think the law is outdated.
Yes many teachers make an excellent job of teaching 30 four and five year olds but think how much better they could be if they didn't have to spread themselves so thinly also think why do so many teachers leave the profession after a few years in the job...

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