Consultation on Regulations to Reduce Primary 1 Classes to a Maximum of 25 Pupils (Scottish Government)
This response is made on behalf of, and in consultation with, the Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) of Voice: the union for educational professionals.
SEC determines union policy with regard to pay, conditions, and all other educational matters in
Voice is in favour of Regulations being introduced to provide for the statutory maximum for P1 classes from August 2011.
It has been the long held policy of this union to reduce class sizes by one pupil year on year. We believe that this should be progressive and would like to see this extended to P2 in 2012 and P3 in 2013 as the children move up the school.
This approach has many merits in that it can be planned, the resource implications are reduced and it is a natural progression. It is very important that the maximum be made statutory as the approach across local authorities has been variable and has been shown to falter with legal challenges by parents. Without statute, we will not see the maximum of 25 being kept.
Voice would like to see P1-P3 have maximum class sizes of 25 by August 2013.
Voice would like to see a review undertaken of the size of composite classes. While many composite classes cover two age stages, in many rural schools the composite class may cover 3 or 4 age stages and if there are 25 children this is quite an undertaking for the class teacher.
With regard to 'excepted pupils', we feel that at least one place in each class should be kept unfilled at the star of the session to accommodate such children as they appear. This needs to be made statutory as the present approach creates difficulties.
We feel that Gaelic medium immersion classes at P1-P3 and Gaelic medium composite classes should have a maximum of 18 pupils.
Senior Professional Officer for Scotland
Voice the union for education professionals
1-3 St Colme Street
Edinburgh EH3 6AA
Senior Professional Officer (Scotland) Maureen Laing
Tel: 0131 220 8241