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Tuesday, January 5, 2016

AM calls for smaller class sizes

Speaking on the first day of a new school term yesterday, Aled Roberts AM (pictured) has said that parents’ wishes for smaller class sizes have been ignored for too long.
Over 71,740 infant pupils in Wales are currently taught in classes of 25 or more, with 59% of infant classes having over 25 pupils.
Despite the fact that class sizes are growing, in July it was revealed that over 800 teachers and support staff are being made redundant across Wales, which will have a major impact on pupils and their learning. 
Going into the Assembly election, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have made clear that they would cap class sizes for infants at 25. 
The party says it would ensure that schools have the funding to employ more teachers so that class sizes can be capped at 25, to protect the quality of education for pupils.
Aled Roberts, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Education and Assembly Member for North Wales, said: “Many children are going back to school today and will be taught in classes of well over 25 pupils.  That is simply too big for a teacher to have the time to give children the individual attention they need.
“Time after time I speak to understandably worried parents whose main priority is for their children to be taught in smaller classes. Parents’ views have been ignored for too long. 
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats would work to ensure that infant classes normally contain no more than 25 pupils, prioritising the largest classes first.  We would invest in more teachers, to give them the time to focus on a child’s individual needs which we believe is central to raising standards.
“The average class size in Wales is higher than nearly all other developed countries.  That isn’t good enough and our pupils deserve better.
“This policy is a key signal that the Welsh Liberal Democrats are on the side of pupils and parents.”

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