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How common are classes of 32?

(29 Posts)
W0rriedMum Wed 20-Sep-17 14:52:58

How common are classes of 32?

If it is relevant, this is an over-subscribed secondary school which my child has just joined, and all classes are of that size, so it's unlikely to be due to appeals etc.

No major concerns, but I was surprised when I heard how many. I thought 30 was more normal these days.

Stopmeifyouveheardthisonebefor Wed 20-Sep-17 15:28:40

In my DC's school (a mildly over subscribed secondary) the average form class size is 26-28 and I've just posted about an issue in my DD's form where numbers have gone up to 32 and they are going to ask people to move form. I don't know if there is a legal limit at secondary though?

RedSkyAtNight Wed 20-Sep-17 16:08:55

DC's school aims for class sizes of 26-27 (based on admissions numbers) so I don't think they'd get to 32 except exceptionally -especially since I don't think the classrooms are large enough to take more than 30.

W0rriedMum Wed 20-Sep-17 16:20:56

I am not sure the classrooms in the school are that large either, though my child hasn't complained of being cramped either.

@stopmeifyouveheardthisonebefor - it was your post that prompted me to ask!
Anyone else?

StressheadMcGee Wed 20-Sep-17 16:22:16

Not at all unusual at the schools where I used to work unfortunately. The worst I've heard of is GCSE options sets of 36.

eddiemairswife Wed 20-Sep-17 16:25:35

In my LA most secondaries have classes in the mid to high 20s. But when subjects are taught in ability groups the highest group may have 30+. As a former KS 2 teacher where classes are regularly over 30, it really annoys me when secondaries are so reluctant to increase class sizes.

ReinettePompadour Wed 20-Sep-17 16:30:22

30-35 is standard here but this year they've just merged all levels (previously set by ability) of students together in some subjects. Those classes are averaging 38-40. I cant say whether they will work or not as they've only been doing it 2 weeks.

My university course has some lectures over 100 students so I no longer see it as an issue having 35 kids in a class unless its a practical class.

Lily2007 Wed 20-Sep-17 16:30:34

30 in each class at DDs school.

Piggywaspushed Wed 20-Sep-17 17:25:57

My university course has some lectures over 100 students so I no longer see it as an issue having 35 kids in a class unless its a practical class.

That's a fairly spurious comparison. Secondary students and university students aren't the same and teaching a lesson is not a lecture. Sadly, that's how things might be going : but Ofsted expect a bit more out of teachers in terms of teaching and learning , marking and feedback than lecturing a class.

There is no legal limit : most secondaries try to stay below 30. As a core subject teacher, I find it most galling that I teach classes of 30 and some subjects can have 3 at A level!

Anything over about 26 becomes less than ideal in terms of so many things, to be honest.

My DS's school has sixth form groups of 32! That is crazy!

Singap0reSling Wed 20-Sep-17 17:30:04

That's the size of some of my DD's lessons - her yeargroup is 96 kids, they're split into 3 classes of 32 for some subjects.

For some other subjects they're split into smaller numbers, depending on the subject.

bettyboo40 Wed 20-Sep-17 18:39:20

Classes of 33 are becoming more common in my school for upper band pupils. Used to be 32. Middle band pupils are in smaller classes of no more than about 25/26, sometimes as low as 16.

Rosieposy4 Wed 20-Sep-17 20:20:22

Our top sets are 31/32 in any setted subjects across main school years, other groups tend to be around 27-30, apart from English and Maths who both have an additional smaller bottom group. No comparison with uni lectures, schools are a different style of teaching totally. We don't have space in most rooms for more than 32, literally would not be able to move at all round the rooms.

W0rriedMum Wed 20-Sep-17 20:22:33

@ReinettePompadour - how peculiar that they've increased the class size to that number to mixed ability classes from sets? That sounds counter-intuitive to me. I'd be curious to see how it goes.

@StressheadMcGee - I'm hoping that the number decreases before GCSE though guess the school knows what it is doing!

@Singap0reSling - wonder if we're talking about the same school. The girls seem well behaved and there is no behavior issues as far as I can tell, so maybe it just doesn't matter.

Thanks for all the opinions. I am fine with it as it seems to work fine, but then I hear of friends whose kids are in (state) schools of 26 and I'm a little perplexed.

Rose0 Wed 20-Sep-17 20:23:10

My DS's GCSE classes last year were anything from just 12 of them (in art) to 36 (in maths - I think top sets often end up being pretty huge.)

For A level it gets much better in my experience - DD had just 10 in two of her classes (English lit and physics - although she did also have 25 in her history class!) and DS now has only 8 in his A level PE class (although again there are something like 26 in his chemistry).

DollyPlastic Wed 20-Sep-17 20:29:07


I'm shocked by that. I've worked in private schools too long I think but my last state class was 19 and that was big enough.

I have around 12/15 now.

Ttbb Wed 20-Sep-17 20:30:53

I think that it depends on the school. When I was at school classes were called at 22 but a lot of 'harder' subjects had smaller classes. I think my smallest class was about seven.

W0rriedMum Thu 21-Sep-17 13:33:31

@DollyPlastic - that is exactly why I think state school kids should have lower entry criteria for too universities. If a child gets an A in a class of 30+, it must surely be equivalent to a child who gets A* in a class of 12.

I looked around one independent secondary school which would run options for 1 single child!

W0rriedMum Thu 21-Sep-17 13:33:50

top not too smile

tiggytape Thu 21-Sep-17 13:41:55

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ParadiseCity Thu 21-Sep-17 14:57:12

I've always believed/assumed my kids are in classes of 35 but I don't know where I got that figure from.

Singap0reSling Thu 21-Sep-17 16:46:53

@W0rriedMum if it's the same school we're talking about, they're in their 32 per form group for the first 3 years and then split into 4 forms of 24 in year 10.

So at GCSE stage, they're taught in their forms of 24 for English and all the sciences. Different numbers in other GCSE subjects, depending on the subject uptake.

I've heard of very little classroom disruption in our school (although there'll always be kids who chat a lot whichever school they're at). Never had any real complaints from my DD about the size of the classrooms:number of kids ratio. She's more likely to bemoan the lack of air conditioning during the hot spells hmm

LoniceraJaponica Thu 21-Sep-17 17:00:15

DD's school is one of the lowest funded schools in the country. Class sizes are increasing and the choice of subjects is decreasing because they can't afford the number of teachers that they should have. Financially they are on their knees.

PettsWoodParadise Thu 21-Sep-17 22:28:35

DD’s school has 26-28 in Y7 to Y9. Grammar in neighbouring borough has 32 in each class which is a new increase for the last two years from 30. However Dd’s School has small rooms and they couldn’t literally fit another girl in a classroom. The fact they have uneven numbers in each of the six forms is reflected partially by the size of rooms. DT is in smaller classes of around 20. It has gone from a three form intake school to 6 forms over a number of years. That has had a bigger impact than class sizes. Bags have to be left in lockers as the corridors literally can’t cope with girls plus bags. They find ways to cope.The dining hall is bursting, the site sprawling as the school has added as it could afford over time but nothing like the sparkly new school a few miles away that was built for six forms and flows so much better (but the school isn’t made by buildings so we ignore that!) . School is about to join a MAT so interesting times ahead...

BBCK Thu 21-Sep-17 22:33:08

Almost all 30+ here, including lower and bottom sets. Fun times !

MrsPworkingmummy Thu 21-Sep-17 22:42:37

Pretty normal class size for the schools I am familiar with up in the North East. I taught an ALevel Eng Lang & Lit class of 37 students a few years back. Had enough space for 32, so had the students crammed around the corner of the tables. They were a lovely class mind you, and bounced great ideas around. Class sizes don't necessarily get smaller in the GCSE years - in core subjects this would likely only be for children in the lowest sets. I often teach set 1 with class sizes at GCSE between 32-34 at a push. It's different in 'option' subjects though as class size will be dependent on the number of children who have opted to take it.

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