HC Deb 05 February 1985 vol 72 cc515-6W
Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make resources available to enable primary and secondary school teachers to instruct pupil groups of smaller numbers.

Mr. Dunn

Average sizes of classes as taught in primary and secondary schools in England have been reducing steadily in recent years. The Government's expenditure plans should permit nationally a continuing modest improvement in pupil to teacher ratios provided the cost of employing staff can be contained. It is, however, for local education authorities to assess, in the light of their own circumstances, what priority should now be given to further reductions in class sizes and to time for teachers to develop and plan the curriculum, to undertake further training, and to assess and review the progress of their pupils.