Letter: Smaller classes do benefit pupils

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The Independent Online
From Cllr Gita Rae

Sir: The latest Ofsted survey states that there is no correlation between class size and standard of teaching ("Class-size survey is blow to parents", 10 November).

However, all the report has shown is that quality of teaching varies and that some very good teachers teach large classes. Who knows how much better those teachers could be if they were teaching smaller classes?

I am a governor of a comprehensive school which has a policy of keeping class sizes at or below 25 pupils. We know that a difference in class size between 24 and 30 means a difference of 20 per cent in the amount of time a teacher can spend with each pupil during a lesson, 20 per cent in the amount of time a teacher spends on marking each homework, and 20 per cent in the amount of space each child has in the classroom.

Whatever the age of the child, these facts must affect the quality of teaching and learning. Therefore it could be argued that the standard of teaching generally would rise if class sizes were smaller. The only way to test this would be to let those teachers who were measured for the Ofsted survey teach smaller classes for a while and then to measure the performance of the pupils again.

Yours faithfully,

Gita Rae

Councillor for Hampton Wick

Teddington,

Middlesex

10 November

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