HC Deb 02 April 1974 vol 871 c1082
10. Mr. Leslie Huckfield

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether he will make a statement about class sizes in primary schools in Warwickshire.

Mr. Armstrong

In January 1974, 1.3 per cent. of Warwickshire's primary school classes had over 39 pupils, and 28.1 per cent. had over 35 pupils.

Mr. Huckfield

Has my hon. Friend yet seen the very long and detailed letter from local teachers' unions and councillors in my constituency about the need for an increased programme of school building following the cut-backs imposed by the previous administration? Will he bear in mind that my constituency is now the fastest growing part of the county of Warwickshire? Does he accept that there are some strong feelings amongst my constituents in this respect?

Mr. Armstrong

I have not seen the document to which my hon. Friend refers. I thank him for letting me know. I shall certainly study it carefully. We are aware of the growth of school population and are watching carefully the need for new school places.

Dr. Boyson

Does the Minister not agree that the real statistic these days is the pupil-teacher ratio of a school, as opposed to class size, as class size can be affected by the organisation of the school?

Mr. Armstrong

Yes, the pupil-teacher ratio is important. It is also important to remind the House that there is a maximum number of children that ought to be taught in one class if the children are to have the attention they need.

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