Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Tavish Scott MSP has this week revealed there has been a 36% increase in the number of “super-size” primary school classes since 2012. As schools return for the new term, the Lib Dems have published new analysis which uncovers the growing number of classes containing 30 or more pupils across Scotland. It shows:
- The number of classes with 30 or more children increased from 1,687 to 2,287 between 2012 and 2016.
- The number of children in classes of 30 or more increased from 52,445 to 71,309 between 2012 and 2016.
Commenting on the new figures, Mr Scott said:
“We already know that the average class size is at its highest in years. Now these new figures reveal that the number of children being taught in super-size classes has soared.
“Almost 20,000 more children are being taught in classes of 30 or above compared to 2012. There are 143 more super-size classes in Glasgow and approaching 100 additional large classes in Edinburgh.
“Smaller classes do help pupils learn and help teachers contact with children who need extra help. So increasing class sizes make it harder to close the attainment gap.
“The impact of a decade of mismanagement by the SNP is clear. Tens of thousands of children are being taught in super-size classes. Thousands of teachers and support staff have been lost to schools and to Scottish education. Pupils returning to school this week have been met by hundreds of teaching vacancies.
“Teachers are our schools’ most important asset. But teaching union surveys show that their workload has increased in the last year, despite John Swinney’s initiatives. Teachers, parents and pupils know that funding, resources and staffing are the biggest challenges facing our schools.
“That is why Scottish Liberal Democrats would give frontline professionals the support they are crying out for. This starts with a £500 million additional investment in Scottish education and commissioning McCrone 2 – an independent root a branch review of teachers’ terms and conditions and the demands placed upon them.”