East Anglia's Pupils In Bigger Classes

20 February 2018, 07:15

secondary school

Secondary school teachers in East Anglia are having to cope with bigger class sizes.

New figures show 59 per cent of Suffolk's secondary schools, and 46 per cent of Norfolk's, have a higher number of students per teacher than they did in 2014/15.

"I think this is really problematic for some of the top sets," Alex - a teacher - told Heart.

"Often, schools make top sets very big classes because typically they'll have behaviour that isn't as problematic.

"However I think this can be seen as a real injustice to those students who deserve to be pushed, and deserve to have more individual and focussed support.

"Now with a bigger class that just cannot happen on a regular basis.

"And we can definitely be seen to be letting down our really higher ability students who we should be pushing to go on to higher education."

Latest research - drawn from figures produced by the Government itself - shows that, in England, secondary school staff numbers have fallen by 15,000 between 2014/15 and 2016/17 despite them having 4,500 more pupils to teach.

Secondary schools in England have seen their staffing fall by an average of 5.5 posts since 2015. These cuts are falling heaviest on front line teaching, with each school losing an average of 2.4 classroom teachers and 1.6 teaching assistants as well as 1.5 support staff.