Primary education is about children’s learning and development. There has been a sense in government that children can all learn the same thing at the same time. That grouping children by age in classes of 30 plus will reap dividends. As anyone in education will tell you smaller classes would allow more understanding of individual needs to develop, better relationships to grow and more children to succeed. All the money the government is pouring into 1:1 tutoring would be better spent on reducing class size. As long as we continue to operate in such large groups the silent majority will remain unheard.
Most teachers would argue that the reduced class sizes in foundation and key stage 1 (to a maximum of 30) could do with being reduced further. Some say the gains made by the current reduction are quickly lost as children move into larger junior classes. Primary education is about so much more than a narrow set of results and statistical data, it is about quality relationships, pastoral support and genuine understanding of children, their social, emotional and physical needs as well as their academic ones. Morally we know that class sizes have a huge impact on all of this but it is a costly undertaking to move to what we know is right.