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Cover story


David Drever takes a look at the current situation on class sizes and argues why further reductions are needed.

The case for smaller class sizes The continuing need to reduce Scotland’s class sizes for educational reasons will continue to be a key feature of EIS policy in the run up to the Scottish Parliamentary elections in May next year. While some progress has been made in reducing class sizes in the early stages of primary schools, and in the first two years of secondary schools in Maths and English, much more needs to be done to bring class sizes down to a manageable level. The EIS will be pushing all political parties to make further commitments to bring down class sizes, though the EIS petition to parliament (see page 4 of this SEJ). David Drever, along with fellow EIS National Executive Member Helen Connor, represents the EIS on the Ministerial Class Sizes Working Group. Here David takes a look at the current situation on class sizes and explains how further reductions are needed to allow all pupils the opportunity to meet their full academic potential.


f there is one issue that is a focus for the key concerns facing teachers today, it is the case for smaller class sizes. A reduction in class size maxima will benefit teachers in both Primary and Secondary,

14 Scottish Educational Journal December 06

from P1 to S6; it will be equally welcome in the inner cities and the leafy suburbs; and it will be good for pupils right across the ability range.

Back in the early seventies a radical new Teachers’ Contract delivered class maxima of 33, 30, and 20 for all classes at different stages. It came alongside significant salary increases and was the result of a huge campaign that rocked the then Labour Government. There is no doubt that the capping of class

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