Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Beatrice Wishart MSP today said that both teachers and pupils have been let down by the SNP, after the annual school census reveals that the average class size this year remains at 23.5 - the highest it has been since the SNP took office.
The SNP Government committed in 2007 to limiting class sizes in the first three years of primary to 18, but this is now being achieved for just 12.3% of children. As a result, compared to 2010, around 14,000 fewer children are getting the benefit of smaller classes.
Beatrice Wishart commented:
“The SNP came to power telling people that P1-P3 pupils would be in small classes. More than a decade on and this is being achieved for just 12% of children. It has failed 147,000 children this year alone.
“Meanwhile, the average class size remains at a record high.
"Both teachers and pupils have been let down by the SNP Government. They have failed to reduce class sizes.
"The SNP has spent the last week celebrating stagnation. Nicola Sturgeon once claimed education was her top priority, but there is now no doubt that independence will always come first, no matter the cost.
"Instead, we can build a brighter future by making it stop and invest in education. Liberal Democrats will increase school budgets and respect and restore the role of teachers in Scottish classrooms through McCrone 2 - an independent review of their workloads and conditions. This will give them the support they need in the classroom and the time they need to prepare lessons."
Notes to editors
In 2010, 34,351 (21.6%) P1-P3 pupils were being taught in smaller classes (1-18). Now just 20,591 (12.3%) of P1-P3 pupils are being taught in classes of up to 18 pupils.
The average class size remains at its highest level since the SNP took office. It is 23.5, compared 22.5 a decade ago.
The full statistics can be found here.