HC Deb 05 July 1983 vol 45 c141
5. Mr. Chapman

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the pupil-teacher ratio of primary and secondary schools, respectively, in England.

Mr. Dunn

The ratios of qualified teachers to pupils in January 1982 were 22.5:1 for primary schools and 16.6:1 for secondary schools.

Mr. Chapman

Will my hon. Friend confirm that those ratios are the lowest and the best ever? Will he, on behalf of the Government, confirm that it is the Government's intention to keep the ratios at those levels or lower during the lifetime of this Parliament?

Mr. Dunn

I confirm that that is the best result ever. We seek improvements in all areas of education.

Mr. Andrew F. Bennett

Will the Minister confirm that those figures represent a deterioration of the pupil-teacher ratio in primary schools because pupils now have to be taught in mixed age groups rather than in groups with one teacher for each age? Would it not be better to make sure that children are taught in single age groups rather than in mixed age groups? To do so we need a further improvement in the pupil-teacher ratio.

Mr. Dunn

The distribution of teachers within schools is a matter for local education authorities.