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PAN mixed classes

(18 Posts)
nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 20:30:29

Sorry, second question of the evening.

Seeing discussions here about appeals, and the PAN (published admission number), has made me think. I thought there was a smaller limit on class sizes for mixed classes, but maybe I'm wrong? The PAN for our school was 15 last year, but they had to admit an extra (so 16 in the end), but this year it was also 15.

I think a class of 30 is really big, for a mixed class, so with a much bigger range of ability.

So, my question is, is the infant class size rule 30, even in a mixed class, or is it reduced? And if I think the school are over that limit, will anyone do anything?

mrz Sat 03-May-14 20:43:21

Infant class size limit applies to all children in reception Y1 & Y2 including mixed age classes. PAN aren't changed year by year so although the school took in an additional child last year it won't alter the PAN for this year. The additional child ceases to be an exception this year so would take the class over Infant class size limits.

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 20:52:23

So, the PAN should be 14?

I am amazed a teacher can manage to teach 30 children who range from one that was 3 yesterday, right through to six year olds! For some reason, I thought mixed classes were restricted for that reason, but are they not?

mrz Sat 03-May-14 20:56:03

No the PAN doesn't change

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 20:56:59

I don't understand, sorry? If there's already 16 in the class, surely they can only take on 14 more children?

JWIM Sat 03-May-14 21:04:48

They will take up to the PAN for the year - so 15 in your example. There may be a number of reasons for the additional child admitted in the year above. That child may be regarded as 'excepted' so does not count for infant class size max of 30 so the school will not be required to take on an additional teacher. There are no specific rules that apply to mixed age classes.

As for the spread of ability that the teacher will meet in a mixed age class - it may be no different to that in a single age year group. It is the skill of the teacher that will ensure the needs of all abilities are met.

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 21:08:16

I had no worries about the skill of the teacher differentiating in the small class anticipated when we applied. But it was bigger than expected, and I have had concerns. Now knowing the class size is only going to increase further, I have even more concerns! But it sounds like there is nothing I can do.

mrz Sat 03-May-14 21:11:00

The school can't just change their PAN because an extra child was admitted last year. To decrease a school’s admissions arrangements, the admissions authority must first publicly consult on those arrangements.

What should happen when the class exceeds 30 (not covered by exception) is that an additional teacher is employed

mrz Sat 03-May-14 21:12:50

The child admitted last year was excepted only for the year they do not continue to be this year

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 21:14:29

Does an HLTA count?

The class will be 31 due to an exception.

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 21:15:49

Sorry, just seen your second post. I don't understand about the child not being excepted for this year. There are 16 instead of 15, so if another 15 come in, the class is over 30. Is that still allowed, due to the exception?

meditrina Sat 03-May-14 21:22:03

I thought there had been a rule change wef September 2013 whereby excepted pupils remain so throughout KS1 (not expiring after a year) so no additional teacher need be appointed even if the class remains at 31 or higher.

mrz Sat 03-May-14 21:22:57

Yes they are allowed to exceed if the child was admitted as an exception.

tiggytape Sat 03-May-14 21:39:46

Yes - the excepted child doesn't count at all.
So last year the school took 15 (+1 excepted child who doesn't count) and this year they will take 15 giving a total of 30 (+1 excepted child who still doesn't count).

It is very rare for a child to be an excepted child in YR-Y2 but when it does happen, they are simply not looked upon as part of the figures.

nocheeseinhouse Sat 03-May-14 21:42:09

Thank you.

admission Sun 04-May-14 18:29:44

Tiggytape has explained why there can be 31 in the class, because one was admitted as an excepted pupil and will remain an excepted pupil until as such time as somebody leaves. In a mixed class this creates an interesting issue in that what will be year 1 in september has 16 pupils in it (15 + excepted pupil) and reception will have 15.
There is a bit of conundrum here. If a pupil leaves from year 1 then the class drops to 30 and the excepted pupil simply becomes an ordinary pupil, counted as one of the 15 in year 1.
However if a pupil leaves in reception then it goes to 14 and in theory a pupil should then be admitted. But the class actually has 30 in it, becasue there are 16 in year 1, so this would be one of the few examples of where the school would not admit even though they are not up to PAN in the year group.
Really tough on anybody who is top of the waiting list for reception but those are the rules.
The other point made was about whether an HLTA was OK in the class to take it over 30 pupils and the answer is definitely no. The rules on infant class size say that there is a maximum of 30 pupils with one school teacher unless they are an excepted pupil. Even an HLTA who is a qualified school teacher does not qualify as they are not being paid as a school teacher.

MirandaWest Sun 04-May-14 18:31:55

I think in Scotland there are different rules about class sizes for mixed age classes but not in England.

Frikadellen Mon 05-May-14 18:43:11

I have experience as a parent of mixed year R & 1 Mixed Y 1 & 2 and also a 60 intake school. (We moved so 2 in the 60 year entry and 2 in the 15 intake)

I by far preferred the mixed groups. DS who is a high achiever was able to work with the older year group and when he was in year 2 the school as it was used to work with wider age groups simply incorporated some of the Y3 &4 lessons for him. by Year 4 he was spending most of his math & English lessons in the class 4 that was meant as a Y5&6 thankfully together with another 3 children from his year group as they were all of higher ability. DS left with level 6's and had an amazing positive experience of primary school.

DD3 who also was in the mixed classes is not high achieving she has been a very slow starter and really struggled with reading. In her case the mix of classes meant she was not as aware that she was not doing as well as her friends and now in year 5 she is almost on target to get where she needs to be for level 4 in year 6.. She is looking at a level 5-6 for math (weird child smile ) Again the mixed age groups have worked wonders for her and meant she was able to get there at her speed without she felt she was very behind (we have had moments i am not saying it was smooth all the time)

In contrast dd2 is very dyslexic and the 60 intake school was rigid in how this had to be managed resulting in a very unhappy girl who we ended up moving out of the school to go private for 4 terms. dd1 went through the 60 intake YR-4 starting in the smaller school the September she was y5 she was considered nothing special ability. By the time she left her mixed year 5&6 she was doing amazing and had a completely different confidence in her own abilities I am aware partially this is her growing up but a huge part was the flexibility of her teacher to deal with what was really year 3 abilities and see her potential and get her motivated to work. She is about to do her GCSE's and is predicted A & Bs for most subjects (apart from French smile) when I speak to both my oldest dd's they think of primary school as the smaller school even dd1 who only went there for 2 years. They all have fond memories of being mixed together with all of the years and they still now will meet parents out and about who they recall and will be stopped to ask how they are doing. dd2 fondly recalls her private school but has no memories what so ever of the year and a half she spend in the 2 form entry school. dd1 has memories and will speak of them but if she is asked where she went to primary she will only mention the later school. She even now at age 16 keeps in contact with and calls " my best friend" a girl she was friends with from reception (but never actually in class with)

In all the experience of the smaller set school for us has been positive and I am of the belief it was exactly because the teachers were able to deal with the wider span of abilities so much easier. In our experience it has been great.

I have had issues with the school dont get me wrong but they have never been about my concern of their abilities to teach my children well.

I hope this helps if what you were looking for was a more personal "been there done that" experience.

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