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maximum class size (Reception) and whats the pupil/teacher/TA ratio?

(14 Posts)
Urbanvoltaire Mon 03-Oct-11 18:03:29

Hi all,

My son has recently started in a local school and is one of 33 pupils. Originally it was 30 and 3 won their appeals. Does anyone know what the max class size is legally, and also what the teacher to pupil ratio is? At present there is 1 teacher and 2 TAs.

A friend recently spoke to an admissions person for another LEA and was told that the legal max is 30 and that anymore than that there should be 2 teachers.

thanks in advance!

strawberrymivvi Mon 03-Oct-11 19:06:25

Hi.

Yes the ratio in reception is 1:30, but if children win appeals the school will be allowed to have more than that in the class but only for the year in which the appeals were won. It's definitely not ideal but not illegal. They wont be allowed to have more than 30 in the class next year unless more children appeal for a y1 place and win.

prh47bridge Mon 03-Oct-11 19:10:16

The law is that there should be no more than 30 children per teacher. However, certain children are "excepted", which means they don't count towards the limit. In the case you describe the 3 children admitted on appeal are "excepted" for 12 months so the school is currently operating within the legal limit. If there are still 33 children in the class in 12 months time they will have to employ an additional teacher or rearrange the classes, which probably means introducing mixed year teaching.

There is no requirement to have any TAs at all.

Urbanvoltaire Mon 03-Oct-11 20:15:35

Thanks folks, looks like I'll have to suck it up for a year and then bring it up in Year 1 if this is still the case. I don't what they will do next year is there are still over 30 in the class as the school is maxed out for classrooms.

Will the 3 "excepted" children have to appeal again to the LEA?

teacherwith2kids Mon 03-Oct-11 20:24:23

No, my understanding is that the school has to employ the extra staff or rearrange the classes to bring the class size below 30 with 1 teacher. Options could include 2 teachers in 1 classroom (as it is teacher:child ratio not total number of children in clss), mixed age classes, using other spaces in the school as classrooms e.g. converting the hall or library. Combining classes could be done further up in the school if other years are smaller (especially as class size regs don't apply after year 3), thus liberating a classroom for another Year 1 class next year.

Or (cynically) waiting for a few parents to get totally hacked off with the over-large class and take their child elsewhere or (less cynically) cross fingers and hope that a few children move house during the year....

prh47bridge Mon 03-Oct-11 20:28:19

If they are still oversize next year they won't need an extra classroom, just an extra teacher. There is no limit on the number of children in a class, just the number of children per teacher. If you have 2 teachers in the classroom you can have up to 60 pupils if the room is big enough. The school also has other options to cope with the situation next year involving mixed year teaching which means they won't have to employ another teacher, although an additional teacher is the most likely outcome.

And no, the "excepted" children will not have to appeal again. They now have places at the school for as long as they need them.

For the time being when a child leaves Reception the place won't be offered to anyone else. They will only start admitting pupils again when they are down to 30 in the class.

firsttimemama Mon 03-Oct-11 22:32:49

Also if there is more than one reception class and a child(ren) leave from that one they will leave the place open and have a reshuffle between the forms at the end of the year. My DD's class had two leavers in the reception year and at least one left one of the other classes. This was from an oversubscribed faith school so not a school that parents didn't really want.

Urbanvoltaire Tue 04-Oct-11 09:32:23

Thanks everyone, it is a bit clearer now. The school is a one form entry so no other classes to shuffle the numbers around in. Thankfully, the current Reception classroom is quite big and spacious so there is room for them to move around in. I know of one family planning to leave this year which takes it down to 32.

If the numbers stay above 32 going into Year 1, I'll bring it up with the Head. The way forward as far as I can see would be for the existing room to be used again (as its quite big) and they have 2 teachers.

I'm quite ticked off about it but resigned that the LEA and school will do what they want anyway.

AyesToTheRight Tue 04-Oct-11 09:51:25

It is frustrating for you - but it's not really that the LEA and school are doing what they want to do - three children got places on appeal - they should have been given places and weren't. It wouldn't be right to not give them their places and it wouldn't be right to take someone else's place away.

prh47bridge Tue 04-Oct-11 09:54:47

The other thing they could do is mix years, although that often isn't popular with parents. The limit only applies to classes where the majority of the children are in Reception, Y1 and Y2. It does not apply to a mixed Y2/3 class where most of the children are in Y3. They could therefore put some of Y2 in with Y3 taking that class over 30 and leaving no more than 60 Y1/2 children to be taught in two classes - possibly one with Y1 and one mixed Y1/2. I'm not saying that is how they should do it but it is an option.

By the way, the decision to admit children on appeal was not made by the LA or the school. It was made by an independent appeal panel. The most likely reason for these appeals succeeding is that a mistake was made and the children concerned should have been offered places when offers went out originally. There are therefore three other children in Reception who wouldn't have been there if no mistake had been made.

Urbanvoltaire Tue 04-Oct-11 10:02:24

The make up of the 33 children are - 26 siblings, 4 children living on the doorstep of the school, 3 appeal cases making the 33. It's a heavily over-subscribed school and I am thankful he's there (I have an older DS there already). I think the appeal cases live further away however won their appeals due to their own personal circumstances.

CustardCake Tue 04-Oct-11 10:34:46

Urbanvoltaire - it is very difficult for everyone. The ideal situation would be a class no bigger than 30 but imagine how you would feel if the council had got your address wrong (for example) and therefore not awarded your child his place? Surely you would have appealed about the fact that they types the wrong postcode on their computer and thought you lived 3 miles away but you actually live only live 300 metres away and should have a place?

People can only win appeals in this age group if the LEA have made a huge mistake somewhere so 3 sets of parents have had a terrible time being wrongly denied a place and then the stress of having to go to an appeal panel to have it all sorted out. You can't win an appeal for this age group just by turning up and complaining that you really really want a place - these 3 people all have an absolute right to be at that school but for some reason the LEA messed up their application and now the school has had to put it right.

Next year, if the numbers are still over 30, you will get an additional teacher for the class or they will split the one class into two classes of 16.

Urbanvoltaire Tue 04-Oct-11 10:42:30

I understand that appeals happen and that mistakes happen. I don't have a grievance with the parents at all (I don't know who they are anyway).

What I do have a problem with is that there are 33 Reception kids with 1 teacher......but I'll have to stick it out, hope that no children suffer from a lack of time and effort spent on them as individuals and ensure that going into year 1 this situation doesn't continue.

CustardCake Tue 04-Oct-11 10:47:33

You have two TAs as well so the level of supervision and help for the children in the classroom is currently a ratio of 1:11 which isn't bad (a normal class has one teacher and one TA so at best a ratio of 1:15).
It isn't ideal but for younger children, less children per adults coupled with the temporary nature of the situation should mean there aren't any real problems.

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