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To think that a class limit of 30 is overly restrictive For infants

(223 Posts)
ReallyTired Wed 10-Dec-14 23:24:17

My parents have new neighbours and they have a six year old boy who is currently being forced to travel 5 miles to primary. The lea is providing transport, but there are four primaries in walking distance. The sheer distance makes hard for the little boy to socialise with classmates. His parents are hoping to get a place in a local school in year 3.

I feel that one of the primaries could go over 30 children in a class with the children melting. Use of an extra ta could help with the logistics of 31 children. Why are year 2 children so much more fragile than year 3 children?

High performing countries like Singapore often have more than 30 in a class.

mrscumberbatch Wed 10-Dec-14 23:27:46

Dd is in a class where they've squeezed two classes of 18 into one giant classroom with 2 teachers.

It works. I don't know how. But I wouldn't fancy trying it in a smaller space.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 10-Dec-14 23:30:53

I actually think a class size of between 20 and 25 is optimal. 30 is a little too big and once you start shoving even more children into classes, they become unmanageable.

Comparing Singapore and the UK is apples and oranges.

thursday Wed 10-Dec-14 23:31:09

I think 30 is loads as it is.

Whatsthewhatsthebody Wed 10-Dec-14 23:33:22

So there are 6 primary schools within 5 miles. Gosh.

Personally as an ex TA I wouldn't like a class of over 30.

Singapore is a totally different educational environment and I am guessing most British Parents would, in reality, freak out at their work load/ethic.

Not comparable.

unclerory Wed 10-Dec-14 23:38:40

I travelled 10 miles to school when I was a child and managed to socialise with my classmates. Or was the fact that I was rural make a difference? Do town children not have access to cars or buses?

ReallyTired Wed 10-Dec-14 23:39:24

Why is a class size of 31 ok for juniors? There is less whole class teaching in infants. Is there any research looking at the effectiveness of a teacher with 25 children as opposed to a teacher with 31 and more ta support? The arguments about space are often bollox as the same classrooms had huge classes in the past.

It is nice to have a class with less than 30, but are there times when it is worth sacrificing this ideal. I feel forcing a six year old to travel 5 miles to school is unfair.

pinkdelight Wed 10-Dec-14 23:39:57

Well in a way the parents have forced this situation not the lea by not moving closer to a school with places. Many parents factor school places into their plans and wouldn't move with a 6yo to a place where all the schools within a five mile radius were full/oversubscribed. Sorry but the info on schools has never been easier to access and most people are aware of the shortage of places and associated risks. If you don't have a back up plan, you can't blame the lea. Although idealistically speaking of course it would be great if there were more places. But bigger classes isn't the answer.

manicinsomniac Wed 10-Dec-14 23:39:59

I feel for the little boy but personally feel that 30 is already too big.

I teach classes of between 10 and 20 children and can't even imagine doubling that (and these are older than KS1 too) without impacting negatively on their learning and general classroom experience.

ReallyTired Wed 10-Dec-14 23:44:57

Pinky parents don't always have a choice about moving.

Teachers don't like large classes because it's more work.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 10-Dec-14 23:45:07

I've done some volunteering in school in a prison and found that with children with ADHD or FASD or similar, they get lost in larger classrooms. Their needs are not met.

I think classes of 30 are already sacrificing the ideal. You have to stop somewhere.

MrsTerryPratchett Wed 10-Dec-14 23:45:52

Yeah, teachers are such lazy fuckers.

MidniteScribbler Wed 10-Dec-14 23:52:43

Well if you're such an expert, perhaps you should do a teaching degree and take on a class of more than 30. You obviously know exactly what it is like having a classroom full of students five days a week.

ilovesooty Wed 10-Dec-14 23:57:13

Midnite you beat me to it.

Sn00p4d Thu 11-Dec-14 00:02:08

It's 25 in Scotland. With good reason, infants are constant, need never ending and hugely varied levels of support and are being taught basic skills alongside the curriculum. Sitting in a seat being a big one. "More work" doesn't quite cover it. Add in a few mild Sen or behavioural issues while you're at it (coincidentally you don't get that in Singapore, think you need to do your research there op)

CheeseBuster Thu 11-Dec-14 00:02:52

Children in Singapore behave a lot differently to children in England when in a classroom.

ReallyTired Thu 11-Dec-14 00:03:28

Would it raise general achievement to provide more special school/ unit places for children who for whatever reason cannot cope in a class of 30? In the past primary schools had much larger classes but no Sen children. Inclusion is hard for teachers to do well in a class of 30.

What is an acceptable distance to expect a young child to travel to a mainstream school in a urban area? The taxis must cost the lea a fortune.

LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 11-Dec-14 00:08:14

So all the children with SN should travel to special schools 6 miles away? Gosh yes, that sounds fairer.

ReallyTired Thu 11-Dec-14 00:08:57

An infants class can go over 31 if there are twins and the last accepted child is a twin. I feel that an infants class should go over 31 so that this little boy does not have to travel 5 miles to school. I feel that 31 children in the class would not cause as much harm as the present situation.

mrscumberbatch Thu 11-Dec-14 00:11:20

But if they let 1 in then they need to let another 1 in similar circumstances.

Then you end up with every class being oversubscribed causing further issues in upper school classes.

Nope, the mum needs to suck it up and get on with it.

AlpacaYourThings Thu 11-Dec-14 00:12:47


LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett Thu 11-Dec-14 00:13:48

So what's the limit? What about the child who lives next door to the child you're talking about? And what about the people who move in next door to them half way through the term? They have twins, by the way. So now your class is at 34... Where do you stop?

Yes, class sizes are a blunt instrument and yes, that means sometimes individual children end up having travel issues. But the solution is to create more places, not to keep shoehorning children in.

BirminghamCityCentre Thu 11-Dec-14 00:20:37

the system works on a set of rules universally applied. 30 is the limit. As others of said, where do you draw the line if you bend the rules for this child (and frankly, doesn't sound that bad to me)? IMO 30 is too many anyway.... teachers work their socks off. YABU.

moonrocket Thu 11-Dec-14 00:22:00

Personally, I think 30 far too many! I wouldn't let my children go to infant school with those numbers. 1 adult to 9 or 10 children is far better. They need a lot of individual attention at this age, not to mention care needs, that the majority of older children do not have.

moonrocket Thu 11-Dec-14 00:23:11

BirminghamCityCentre... your name is v funny! grin

Do you speak for the whole of the city centre?

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