§ 12. Mr. DAY
asked the President of the Board of Education the number of classes which are classified according to the number of pupils on the school registers of elementary schools, which have over 60 pupils; and will he give particulars, including the numbers of the four largest classes, of which he has any statistics?
§ The PRESIDENT of the BOARD of EDUCATION (Lord Eustace Percy)
On the 31st March, 1927, there were 278 classes in public elementary schools in England and Wales with over 60 children on the rolls. As regards the second part of the question, I have made inquiry into the cases of the four largest classes. As the hon. Member may be aware, the 393 returns made by local authorities relate to a particular date in the year, and I find that in each of these cases the large size of the class on that date was due to an entirely unavoidable cause, such as the temporary absence of a teacher owing to illness; moreover, in three out of the four cases the class was, in fact, divided between the class teacher and the head teacher or another assistant, though this fact was not actually shown on the return. I have little doubt that similar considerations would be found on investigation to apply to the large majority of the classes returned with over 60 children on the roll.
§ Lord E. PERCY
I have not included those figures because, to give the numbers of the four largest classes, when those classes were the largest, only because of the fact that the principal teacher happened to have a cold on a particular day, would seem to be rather useless. If the hon. Member wants them I will send the figures to him.
§ Lord E. PERCY
How could I tell, without going through all the 278, which were regular and which were irregular?