HC Deb 28 June 1956 vol 555 cc681-2
25. Miss Bacon

asked the Minister of Education the average size of classes in grammar schools and secondary modern schools, respectively, on the last convenient date.

Sir D. Eccles

In January, 1955, the average size of classes in maintained and assisted secondary grammar schools was 27.8, and in secondary modern schools 30.7.

Miss Bacon

Is the right hon. Gentleman aware that that is a long time ago—January, 1955? Can he give an assurance that in the coming years, with the increase in the secondary school population, there will be a sharing of the increased numbers by the grammar schools and the secondary modern schools, not only to ensure that there is no overcrowding but also to ensure that the percentage of children going to grammar schools is not decreased?

Sir D. Eccles

The figures for January, 1956, will be available in the autumn. I certainly give the hon. Lady the assurance for which she asks. She will, of course, recognise that as there are more sixth forms in grammar schools—forms which are small in numbers—it is probable that the pupil-teacher ratio in grammar schools will always be slightly below that in secondary modern schools, or at any rate for the time being.