2 in 5 parents consider small class sizes a top priority, survey finds: Findings from a recent survey by MyEd have shown that making class sizes smaller is the education policy most popular amongst 40 per cent of parents. The results come ahead of the general election in May.
Closely following smaller class sizes were protecting the education budget from cuts and lowering the cost of university tuition fees to £6,000 per year.
Capping class sizes is one of Labour’s key education manifestos. Labour promised to reduce the numbers of pupils in a class – containing children aged 5, 6 and 7 years old – to 30 or less.
The findings indicate that a higher importance needs to be placed on introducing smaller class sizes, due to concerns that children in larger classes may be receiving less direct interaction from the teacher.
The survey also highlighted that around a quarter of parents consider the cost of childcare to be a main concern in their household.
The results come as over 600,000 children across England await confirmation of a primary school allocation this week, on April 16th. Education professionals warn that there is a looming crisis over school places.
In 2014, approximately 40 per cent of children in parts of England, were not allocated a place at their first choice primary school.
In 2013, data from the Department for Education suggested that the number of children being taught in “supersized” classes, of more than 30 pupils, reached a figure of 71,935, despite legislation that prohibits schools from teaching children in a class of over 31 children.
A separate study by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development found that class sizes in the UK are among the largest in the developed world, with an average of 25 primary school pupils in a class.
According to the survey, the top 10 education priorities for parents were:
• Cap class sizes in primary and secondary schools – 41 per cent
• Fully qualified teachers – 34 per cent
• An increase in the number of apprenticeships offered – 33 per cent
• Reduction of university tuition fees to £6000 – 28 per cent
• Protection of the national education budget from cuts – 27 per cent
• 25 hours of free childcare for children aged 3 and 4 – 24 per cent
• Guarantee of school place from top two choices – 22 per cent
• Childcare in primary school from 8am to 6pm – 19 per cent
• Free nursery places for two year olds – 17 per cent
• Graduate tax replace upfront university fees – 15 per cent
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