What is normal school size?

(38 Posts)
wildpoppy Sat 06-Oct-12 23:45:11

I keep seeing people on here talk about big schools by which they seem to mean three form entry. Primary school I went to, in London, had four form entry and just seemed normal. Certainly never thought of it as a big school. Is this unusual?

steppemum Sun 07-Oct-12 00:29:38

I think 'normal' is usually one or two form entry. More than that is considered large. 4 form entry really is big for a primary school.

In fact when I was teaching my school had 2 form entry and we were referred to as a big school. (now I wouldn't think of it as large)

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 02:04:00

Here (N. Essex) I would class a 1 form entry as small, 2 form entry as normal, and anything 3 form entry as a big school.

cumbrialass Sun 07-Oct-12 08:47:18

Depends where you are! In the area of my county where I teach mixed age classes are the norm with PAN of 15 being usual, in the towns 1 or 2 form entry is the norm and we have the odd school with 3 form entry!

Here (Tameside), 1 or 2 form entry, of 30 per class is normal, anymore than that is considered large.

scaevola Sun 07-Oct-12 08:50:49

How times change!

In the small sleepy place where I was brought up, the junior school had 140 pupils per year in 3.5 classes, and the others were similar sized.

I'd see 60-90 pupils per year as normal size now, though.

mrz Sun 07-Oct-12 08:52:56

In the small sleepy place where I grew up the school had 30 pupils in the whole school (with one teacher)

DorsetKnob Sun 07-Oct-12 08:55:16

Rural around here so the norm is one form entry and less than 30 per class unless you are in a town. Dc's school has a max of 24 per class, the one she started at has a mixed yr1/recpetion this year as there are so few children.

Pooka Sun 07-Oct-12 09:01:09

Round here two or three form entry is the norm. One rom is unusual. There is a local six form entry which seems massive to me.

derekthehamster Sun 07-Oct-12 09:05:04

We have several schools with a 4 form intake, but these are split into infant and junior schools, usually on different sites. So the schools themselves, aren't that massive.

Bunbaker Sun 07-Oct-12 09:07:09

DD's village primary school had about 140 pupils and only 5 classes of mixed year groups. I was worried about the mixed year group idea, but my worries were unfounded. The school consistently gets outstanding ofsted reports, its added value is the highest in the borough and over 65% of year 6 children leave with level 5s.

Her high school is massive though - ten times the size of primary school, but DD has adapted.

cumbrialass Sun 07-Oct-12 09:08:44

When I was training I had 4 placements, one in a school of 465 ( including Nursery), one in a school of 210, one in a school of 57 and one in a school of 37! All were within 20 mins of where I lived

halloweeneyqueeney Sun 07-Oct-12 09:13:35

not london, our biggest school in catchment has 600 children

halloweeneyqueeney Sun 07-Oct-12 09:14:42

..in a town not a city
it feels like a secondary school to me though, I feel its not the right environment for small children. its all on one site

cumbrialass Sun 07-Oct-12 11:28:20

My school has nearly doubled in size since I started teaching there, from 52 pupils to 98!

GoldenPeppermintCreams Sun 07-Oct-12 13:32:27

In my London Borough, most of the schools are two form entry, except the catholic and CofE ones which have one form, and a couple in the high populated area which have 3/4 forms per year. My son's school has 4 form entry, but is split in to two separate Infant and Junior schools.

In one of the highly populated areas (near my work) they are building a massive new estate, and will be converting the existing separate infants and juniors into two separate primary schools, one an academy.

MrsJohnDeere Sun 07-Oct-12 13:39:12

100 pupils at our school. 4 mixed age classes.

BackforGood Sun 07-Oct-12 13:41:28

Depends entirely on the locality - from the teeny weeny schools with about a dozen pupils in all, to the inner city schools with 5 or 6 classes in a year.
Also, some areas have large Nurseries attached to their schools, some have lower, middle then High School systems, some have right through Primaries, occasionally there are right through 3 - 19s, quite a lot more common there are 7 years in a Primary. Lots of variables really.
Where I live, the majority of schools have 2 classes per year group, bu it's also very common for 1 or 3 form entry, and not uncommon for 4 or 5 form entry.

Fuzzymum1 Sun 07-Oct-12 13:45:01

Approximately 100 children in 4 classes at our local school. R/1, 1/2, 3/4 and 5/6

CouthyMowWearingOrange Sun 07-Oct-12 14:31:19

We have a couple of local schools that take either 1FE or 1.5FE. The schools can't expand due to site size. They were originally built as small village schools, but the town has grown to 'absorb' the villages IYSWIM.

They are going to build another new primary, 4-11, AND a new Secondary too, at our end of town. We had a new 210 pupil primary open just two years ago.

The problem here is site size, so you end up with lots of 210 pupil primaries due to not enough available land to build bigger schools.

Though in the 8 years my DC's have been at their primary, it has gone from being under 1FE (less than 30 in a class) to 2FE, and 3FE in a bulge year. They are talking about expanding it to 3FE permanently, but site size is an issue.

teacherwith2kids Sun 07-Oct-12 14:34:31

When Ofsted comments on school size, they seem to use '2 form entry' as 'average' size, 1 form entry as 'smaller than average' , 3 form as 'larger than average' etc.

We're going to have a party when my school hits 100 - 2 more pupils to go! (It was down as low as 70 and shrinking about 4 years ago)

cumbrialass Sun 07-Oct-12 14:39:33

Maybe we could have a joint party, we're on 98 too! ( We were 100 for 1 day last year until one child simply didn't turn up!) So far this term we've had 3 leave and 5 join us. Turnover can be said to be high!

teacherwith2kids Sun 07-Oct-12 14:41:55

We never quite know who is going to turn up on a given day .... The most new children who have ever turned up mid-term, expecting to start that day has been 6!

Myliferocks Sun 07-Oct-12 14:45:46

Our local infants school is a mix of two and three form entries and has mixed year classes. There are eight classes in total with at least three classes having over 30 in them.
The local juniors has 3 years with 2 form entry and 1 year with 3 form entry. The 3 form year group only has 30-33 per class whereas the 2 form entry years have between 35-40 per class.

mrz Sun 07-Oct-12 14:46:39

We've had children turn up unaccompanied to start school hmm

teacherwith2kids Sun 07-Oct-12 14:53:24


Our favourite was the child delivered to the doorstep ununnounced one morning in about November by his mum
"We put him in the wrong school. You're our school. So I told the others yesterday he's coming here, and here he is."

mam29 Sun 07-Oct-12 14:56:19

outer suburb city -dd goes rc ptimary ad its 1.5 entry so 45kids at infants at least,

most we looked round had 2 classes of 30-so would say thats definate norm.

the 2more oversubscribed schools locally one is coe infants has 3form 25per class other one coe primary had opened up to 3form for some years.

The villages have pretty much kept to 1form and some havent even got full 30.

mrz Sun 07-Oct-12 15:02:43

Our's was a family of 3 ... no mum or dad but the eldest said "we've moved"

strangest we ever had was a child who appeared one day with the explanation that her brother who was a Y1 pupil in the school had gone back to live with his mum who had swapped her in his place hmm

mam29 Sun 07-Oct-12 15:07:27

Thats so funny? had they even applied for your school mrz or accidentally taken him to the wrong school?
Thta be so odd if just turned up to school with kid and say you are the chosen ones as for swapping kids dunno how that would work as guessing they diffrent year groups.

I think all our admissions done through lea.

cumbrialass Sun 07-Oct-12 15:08:22

We had families who swapped houses so assumed that they could swap schools too! Just turned up on Monday morning and said "We've swapped houses with Xxx so are at this school now. Unfortunately the children weren't the same age and so breached ICS regs. That took some sorting out!

cumbrialass Sun 07-Oct-12 15:11:11

All admissions should be done through LEA but some parents just don't bother! We usually have one or two in September who assume that they can start with us as we are their local school and think they don't need to bother applying. We always double check when we know existing children have younger siblings who don't appear on the preference forms, again they think that they can just start!

mrz Sun 07-Oct-12 15:13:28

No they hadn't applied for school anywhere ... but what do you do when you have 3 unaccompanied children who can't tell you where they live?
The swap - involved the child moving countries

teacherwith2kids Sun 07-Oct-12 15:16:32

A significant proportion of our parents are sub-literate or illiterate and have attended little or no school themselves, so have no understanding of how the school admissions system works.

We are used to it, and the LEA is used to us, so it's always sorted out very quickly.

mrz Sun 07-Oct-12 15:33:02

We have a large traveller population so families come and go all the time.

teacherwith2kids Sun 07-Oct-12 15:51:03


aJumpedUpPantryBoy Sun 07-Oct-12 16:00:54

Depends where you are.

In our LEA the smallest school probably has 15 pupils and the largest 300. The average (median) is about 120 meaning lots of schools have spilt year group classes

BieneMaja Sun 07-Oct-12 18:34:25

5 form entry this year in DDs school. Outstanding school (at the moment) but it doesn't suit DD. Not much I can do about that though at this point...

Saracen Sun 07-Oct-12 21:24:54

I live in a city but the schools here are not big. Until the last few years when bulge classes began to be introduced, nearly all the schools had a PAN of 30.

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