Tories warn of discipline problems in big schools

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The number of children being taught in schools with at least 2,000 pupils has more than trebled since Labour came to power, according to new figures.

The Conservatives, who obtained the details from government records, warned that larger schools faced the worst problems with discipline.

In 1997, 12,650 pupils in England were being educated in these super-sized secondary schools but by last year the figure had risen to 47,540.

The Conservative education spokesman, Michael Gove said: "In America, cities such as New York and Chicago have significantly improved behaviour and standards by encouraging smaller schools where it is easier to foster respect."

The figures, from the Department for Children, Schools and Families, showed that nearly one in seven secondary school pupils is taught in a school of more than 1,500. The Tories said this represented an extra 200,000 pupils in schools with at least 1,500 children since 1997.