HC Deb 11 May 1995 vol 259 c600W
Mr. Austin Mitchell

To ask the Secretary of State for Education what assessment the Government have made of the effect of class size in state secondary schools on the education of children in those classes; what representations she has received on the subject from private schools; and what are the current average class sizes in the fifth form for(a) grant-maintained schools, (b) public schools, and (c) other independent schools and (d) other state schools. [22437]

Mr. Robin Squire

The accumulated research evidence has not demonstrated any simple or conclusive link between marginal changes in class size and pupil performance. What matters most is the quality of the teaching. I am unaware of any representation to my right hon. Friend from independent schools on the issue of class size.

The schools census provides limited information on class size by age. In January 1994 the average size of one-teacher classes for pupils mainly aged 14 and 15 was 21.2 for both maintained and grant-maintained secondary schools. Information on class size in independent schools is not collected by the Department.

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