HC Deb 15 April 1937 vol 322 cc1173-4
54. Mr. Harvey

asked the President of the Board of Education whether he can give details of the number of classes in infant schools in England and Wales in which more than 40 children are being taught in one class?

Mr. Stanley

On 31st March, 1936, the latest date for which figures are yet available, there were 13,638 classes in separate infant departments in public elementary schools in England and Wales with more than 40 children on the books.

Mr. Harvey

In view of the large number of children in these classes will the Minister bring some pressure on local authorities to reduce them?

Mr. Stanley

There has been a fairly consistent fall during the last two or three years.

Viscountess Astor

The fall may be consistent but it is very slow. Will the President bring a scheme before the House so that this cannot happen, and that infant classes can be turned into open-air nursery classes? It is absolutely impossible for a woman to deal with 40 children under the age of seven. It is a waste of money.

Mr. Stanley

I will consider it.

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