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What do you think of this plan?

(23 Posts)
Emphasise Sat 25-Mar-17 20:39:33

Year 5 cohort for Sept has 43 children. This year they're in mixed yr 3/4 classes but school doesn't want a mixed class for next year's year sixes so are considering.

One large class of 43. 2 teachers in the mornings to do English and Maths and the more studious subjects in classes of 20ish but afternoons will be all together with 1 teacher for things like PE, Art, RE etc

How would you react if asked to do that as a teacher? How would you feel if your child was in this class?

Bringmewineandcake Sat 25-Mar-17 20:47:08

43 is far too many for 1 teacher, I would not be happy if this was my daughter's class. As a parent it would seem only sensible to me to have 2 classes of 21/22 pupils.

amberdillyduck Sat 25-Mar-17 20:50:55

As a parent it would seem only sensible to me to have 2 classes of 21/22 pupils.

Are you prepared to chip in towards the additional £65,000 cost of that (based on 1 experienced teacher and 1 TA with on costs)

Emphasise Sat 25-Mar-17 20:52:42

Yep, that's obviously what they'd like to do but they get funded per pupil so 43 children pays for c. 1.4 teachers. Under this plan they have two classes for the "important" things but a very big class for the lighter stuff. i.e the things the school isn't tested on, but obviously that's not where the priorities are grin Actually the children will be getting more than their "share" of teachers, as a morning is longer than an afternoon.

spanieleyes Sat 25-Mar-17 20:54:35

We have 40 with a similar set up. Much as we would like 20 in a class, it is simply unaffordable. Just wait 'til the funding cuts begin to bite!

AGlassHalfFull Sat 25-Mar-17 20:55:27

That is atrocious. Absolutely terrible.

ChanandlerBongsNeighbour Sat 25-Mar-17 20:59:25

My school has 1.5 form entry, separate classes of 45 each in nursery and reception. Then mixed classes for ks1 and lower ks2. Then two classes of 22/23 in year five and also year six. I cover in these classes occasionally and couldn't imagine having one class of 43 of that age group! Regardless of the subject!

mrz Sat 25-Mar-17 20:59:33

I know schools with 40 pupils with 1 teacher (no TA) for all subjects due to funding cuts.

Groovee Sat 25-Mar-17 21:00:55

Team teaching has become quite common where I work. Usually means that there is a smaller ratio per teacher and it seems to work well.

Emphasise Sat 25-Mar-17 21:02:17

The alternative would be to have mixed classes but parents don't generally like that either.

ZilphasHatpin Sat 25-Mar-17 21:05:19

I would withdraw my child from the school if there were to be more than 30ish (which is too high imo) in the class.

Emphasise Sat 25-Mar-17 21:06:41

The flip side though is that for 3.5 hours of their day they're in really small classes.

MerryMarigold Sat 25-Mar-17 21:07:07

Can the classroom accommodate 43? shock

I don't know what I would suggest to be honest. They'd have to do this though Y5 and Y6 I'm guessing. I think it would be incredibly noisy and chaotic. Very difficult for any SEN children too.

I think I'd prefer 2 small classes, taught in rotation with a HLTA. Aren't they much cheaper than teachers? The teacher would do the planning, but the HLTA could deliver, and then the next day swap with the teacher. A lot of HLTAs are amazing. Perhaps the HLTA could have a TA and the teacher not, so it would basically be Teacher/ HLTA/ TA between 43 kids.

AGlassHalfFull Sat 25-Mar-17 21:08:36

20 isn't particularly small, imo. 10 - 15 is small.

Emphasise Sat 25-Mar-17 21:14:22

Yes, the classrooms are open plan, two classrooms with a folding curtain/wall between them so it could be done from that POV.

You can't have a HLTA as a class teacher officially, although you could do it by calling them an unqualified teacher which is more expensive than a HLTA but not much.

It's hoped that in yr6 they'd be able to use the money saved this year to have two classes of 20ish all day but that obviously depends on next year's budget too.

ZilphasHatpin Sat 25-Mar-17 21:15:36

The flip side though is that for 3.5 hours of their day they're in really small classes.

21/22 isn't really small. My son's class has 14 in it. My class in primary had 5. We all sat at the one table.

ellesbellesxxx Sat 25-Mar-17 21:17:11

I guess If there were 1/2 TAs in the afternoon that would help as TAs could have a group each.. I had 35 once and that was a big enough class, let alone 43!

AGlassHalfFull Sat 25-Mar-17 21:21:58

More cynically, are they hoping that children will be moved out of the school, thus reducing the need for 2 classes?

Emphasise Sat 25-Mar-17 21:24:06

No, their funding would go with them, that really doesn't help the school.

attheendoftheday Sun 26-Mar-17 22:18:25

The morning class sizes wouldn't make up for the afternoons for me. 43 with one teacher does not sound managable. It sounds like writing off music, art etc and not really teaching them. I just can't see how one person could even adequately supervise such a big group.

Mixed year classes would be better imo.

rollonthesummer Sun 26-Mar-17 22:27:10

I wouldn't want to teach a class of 40+ every afternoon. PE would be a shitstorm.

Sadly this is going to happen everywhere. I was out with a load of teacher friends last week and we were discussing how our schools were dealing with the funding crisis.

Most schools that people were in were planning to get rid of every LSA for September (the LSAs don't know this yet). One school was halving the SENCos hours, one was having the head teacher back in class part of the week.

Most were also having to make the move to massive class sizes as well. Things are properlyshite.com.

I'm not sure if parents truly understand what is happening?

cantkeepawayforever Sun 26-Mar-17 22:30:59

I have done something similar - not over 40 in the afternoon, but high 30s. 2 small classes in the morning, 1 large (in my case mixed age) class in the afternoon.

It was a nightmare. A huge group for PE / Games was unmanageable. Any writing done in the afternoon was poor quality, because it was hard to support those who struggled, and not having taught everyone in the morning, individual knowledge of the children was lacking to ensure that they were properly extedned. Even supervising Art with a huge class was an issue - lack of equipment, no space to put finished work etc etc.

The School improvement Partner came in, took one look at it, looked at whether the children were making progress, and said 'No'. Ofsted (luckily) didn't come until after we rejigged to make the classes stable throughout the day..

BigWeald Sun 26-Mar-17 23:27:56

We looked at a school nearby that is a First School (Reception-Y4), has a PAN of 20 (so total of 100 children over 5 years) and three teachers + a head who teaches PT too.

They manage it in that YR-Y2 (governed by infant class size regulations) are two mixed-age classes of 30 each, and the other 40 kids (Y3 and Y4) are taught separately in the mornings but together in the afternoons, with the mornings covering the 'core' subjects. They have been doing this for a long time. The teachers are happy, OFSTED is happy (they consistently got 'good'), and all the parents I talked to were happy too. They tended to see the benefits of mornings in classes of 20 as outweighing the downsides of afternoons in mixed-age classes of 40.
Of course all parents chose this school knowing what they were choosing, and it is an unusual school that nearly no-one will go to because it is their closest school, instead it will have been actively chosen by most parents. So with everyone on board, it may be easier to make it work.

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