§ Mr. Harvey
asked the Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Education whether any action has been taken, or is to be taken, by the Board to reduce the size of classes in secondary schools which are over the normal limit of 30 pupils per class, in view of the increase in the number of such classes to 4,747 on 1st October 1938 as compared with 4,684 on 1st October, 1937?
Article 5 of the Regulations for Secondary Schools provides that the number of pupils taught together at any one time must not without the concurrence of the Board exceed 30, and must never exceed 35. Permission to admit more than 30 pupils to any form in the first year of the course is given by H.M. Inspectors on behalf of the Board, after satisfying themselves that the concession is justified by the special circumstances of the case.
In English schools the increase in the number of such classes between October 1937 and October 1938 is exactly proportional to the increase in the total number of classes. In Welsh schools the proportion is higher, but every effort is being made to limit the size of classes without unduly restricting admissions.
It should be remembered that October comes at the beginning of the school year which numbers are at their peak, and that a certain amount of wastage takes place in the course of the school year. In the circumstance:; I do not think that special action by the Board is called for.