Warning as Leeds pupils crammed into class

Class Room

SCHOOL teachers face a classroom crisis as pupil numbers boom.

Across the city primary schools are facing a growing problem as they seek to make way for more and more pupils.

Over the last four years 
Leeds has seen a 313 per cent increase in the number of 
pupils attending classrooms above the previous 30-pupil legal limit.

The Labour Party has pointed to Government figures which it says shows that in one Leeds school alone, Greenhill Primary, there was at one point 63 pupils in one class.

One head teacher has now called for councils to once again be given the power to open new schools where needed.

Stephen Watkins, head teacher at Mill Field Primary School in Leeds, said he refused to take pupils if it would push classroom sizes above 30.

Mr Watkins said he felt the issue must be addressed at a national level, calling for a change to rules which mean local authorities such as Leeds are responsible for admissions policy but lost the power to build new schools.

He said: “We are getting bigger and bigger primary schools now, there are some with 600 pupils in them, and as a head teacher of 30 years I think that is too big.

To read more, please click on this link:  Yorkshire Post

Photo: Barry Batchelor/PA

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One thought on “Warning as Leeds pupils crammed into class

  1. A number of factors have caused the position that many towns and cities around the UK find themselves in. Increase in migration into the UK, baby booms, and the freedom of choice of parents to place their children in schools of their first choice.

    I certainly agree with the need to utilise schools that can still be used if it means that the cost of bringing them up to standard is less that a new built school.

    With the current coalition Government demanding the building of new housing there will be a need to build new schools in areas where there is an increased demand. This is why none of the political parties can stand on a principal of refusing planning permission to developers who are holding onto land. Whether rural or green belt communities like it or not there is a demand and that demand has to be meet. If we continuously refuse planning permission the crisis will just get worse and classes of 40+ will become the norm.

    What Local Authorities will have to do also is review the current letting policy for schools, and reserve schools places to children who live within a postal code or district so that children who lived within the community get a place and are not being asked to travel great distances whilst other children are being given first preference due to the selection system or faith. Even though you may hear the cry of parents who feel that the school nearest to their home is not the best performing school, it is a matter for the Government and the school to raise those standards consistently across the education system.

    It will be interesting to see some statistical data from the Leeds Education Authority as to those primary schools in Leeds that have lower number of students, compared to school where they are over subscribed. This could be a good starting point.

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