Lib Dems reveal over 100,000 primary school pupils in composite classes


Scottish Liberal Democrats have raised concerns that local authorities are resorting to the use of composite classes to address the SNP’s lack of support for primary schools.

Figures obtained by the party through parliamentary questions revealed that, in 2014, over 100,000 P1-P7 pupils across Scotland were in classes which mix pupils of different stages and age groups.

Whilst team teaching is often used in rural schools due to smaller local cohorts of pupils, the figures highlight its use in densely populated urban areas.

Commenting, Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Liam McArthur MSP said:

“Composite classes and team teaching will always have a place in Scotland’s schools. In my constituency, Orkney, composite classrooms often help ensure the viability of rural schools which have smaller cohorts of pupils in the area.

“It is a teaching approach which can have benefits for pupils, but it is not an approach which should be taken out of necessity.

“These figures will raise questions over whether composite classrooms are being used to manage a shortage of capacity and staff.

“With over 100,000 primary school pupils in composite classes across Scotland, parents will want assurances that local authorities are not being forced to take such steps.

“Successive SNP Education Ministers have failed to deliver their 2007 promise to cut class sizes.

“Our figures showing that even in densely populated urban areas such as Glasgow, where 1498 Primary 2 pupils are in composite classes, warrant explanation by the SNP Government.”

Ends

Notes to Editors: 

1. Details of the parliamentary question can be found at: http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/parliamentarybusiness/28877.aspx?SearchType=Advance&ReferenceNumbers=S4W-26775&ResultsPerPage=10

All local authorities have pupils in all primary year groups in composite classes. The numbers of pupils in composite classes, by local authority and by year group, are shown in Table 2.

 

Table 2: Number of pupils in composite classes by stage, 2014*

Local Authority

P1

P2

P3

P4

P5

 P6

P7

 Total Number of

Composite Classes

Aberdeen City

265

551

536

593

452

348

185

133

Aberdeenshire

988

1336

1219

1175

1257

1385

937

415

Angus

215

339

399

328

324

277

226

110

Argyll & Bute

309

401

387

373

394

508

349

168

Clackmannanshire

87

186

201

162

163

146

98

50

Dumfries & Galloway

572

886

759

808

812

771

606

257

Dundee City

197

326

331

353

271

355

228

89

East Ayrshire

199

407

380

395

331

303

238

104

East Dunbartonshire

127

186

218

261

356

367

191

80

East Lothian

155

277

288

265

331

256

136

83

East Renfrewshire

10

15

22

11

7

31

30

7

Edinburgh City

267

599

383

452

443

402

244

133

Eilean Siar

194

245

211

220

239

190

167

89

Falkirk

158

374

375

252

328

259

115

92

Fife

806

1532

1477

1281

1350

1234

716

397

Glasgow City

782

1498

1300

1341

1240

1219

634

364

Highland

1002

1385

1309

1213

1140

1232

867

448

Inverclyde

97

173

145

192

137

148

58

41

Midlothian

87

162

178

188

210

170

105

56

Moray

275

462

486

373

448

352

234

123

North Ayrshire

265

523

498

486

473

392

263

131

North Lanarkshire

599

1514

1262

1231

1116

1296

617

351

Orkney Islands

79

122

95

88

65

58

60

37

Perth & Kinross

485

617

570

595

666

723

379

205

Renfrewshire

178

472

471

496

397

317

93

112

Scottish Borders

405

564

467

452

489

525

481

169

Shetland Islands

133

169

132

160

157

157

131

56

South Ayrshire

90

224

231

203

219

201

145

73

South Lanarkshire

886

1338

1414

1356

1216

1313

871

407

Stirling

183

291

300

314

297

247

160

92

West Dunbartonshire

86

210

209

230

300

303

177

74

West Lothian

298

529

469

426

427

434

329

143

Scotland

10479

17913

16722

16273

16055

15919

10070

5089

 

*As recorded in the September 2014 Pupil Census

 

 

SCOTTISH GOVERNMENT


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