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Class sizes soar in the North East, as Tories fail to keep pace with growing pressure on school places

Lucy Powell

The number of young children taught in large classes of 31 or more has trebled to over 100,000 in across the country since 2010 – this is the highest number on record for 15 years.

Class sizes are soaring in every region in the country. In the North East, there are now 3,278 infants in classes of over 30 – a rise of 167 per-cent over the past five years.

Instead of allocating money where it’s needed, the Tories have spent millions setting up Free Schools where there is no shortage of school places, while class sizes soar elsewhere. Some 96 per cent of areas that desperately needed more primary places for this September do not have a primary Free School.

Shadow Education Secretary, Lucy Powell MP, said:

“The Tories promised in their manifesto that they would ensure that there is a good primary school place available for every child. The reality is that their failure to properly handle the growing pressure on school places has meant every year more and more young children are crammed into expanding classes, threatening the quality of education they receive. At the same time, parents are finding it harder and harder to get a place for their child at a local school.

“Rather than spend hundreds of millions on Free Schools in areas where there are already enough school places, this Government should be prioritising spending on areas where there are shortages.Our education system desperately needs better local oversight and accountability of planning for school places to stop children’s education being harmed in this way.”

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