Saturday 1 June 2013

Saturday, June 01, 2013 Posted by Jake 7 comments Labels: , ,
Posted by Jake on Saturday, June 01, 2013 with 7 comments | Labels: , ,

Michael Wilshaw, the Chief Inspector of Schools, said at a seminar organised by the Reform think tank: "You can't have small classes - small groups - and a highly-paid staff." Wilshaw's assertion being that by having bigger class sizes, and therefore fewer teachers, it will be possible to offer higher pay to tempt in better teachers. In this he was parroting Reform's own agenda:

"Ministers should support schools that reduce numbers of teaching assistants and allow class sizes to rise. Ministers should also make the case that having a high quality teacher is more important than smaller class size."  

So, is it actually true that our schools have small classes? We produce data below from the OECD's "Education at a glance, 2012" report, which looks at and compares the education systems in the OECD countries.

For both primary and secondary schools up to GCSE, class sizes in England are among the largest in the OECD.

The reality is we already have among the largest class sizes in the OECD. The government's agenda is simply to cut spending in the government education system. 

After all, those who can pay for private education can enjoy classes of 15 to 20, as you would find in ordinary schools in Austria, Hungary, and the USA.


  1. They'll want results to rise as well. I don't think so. Teachers can only work with what's in front of them. In my experience, the standard of students has fallen not the teacher. Somehow that's the teacher's fault! No, it's the constraints of not being able to discipline because parents, management and government say it's ok for a student to be badly behaved.

    1. The 'standard of student'? You mean our children? Behave! Gove's an idiot but this punish them harder 'children nowadays' nonsense doesn't help teachers and is based on NO research. Glad I teach in Scotland!

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. But at Cameron's old school of Eton, the pupil to teacher ratio is 8:1

  4. those aren't my spacings above, they just happened when I posted! also the captcha's seem a real menace.

  5. The chief inspector is not independent of the government and its politics. That should be the greatest criticism of his position.

  6. whilst my wife has been slogging away for less than half an MPs salary no exes working 60/70 hrs /wk teaching classes 5 days then marking prep and administration then reports, holidays spent gathering new info for next term I may as well be single. Yet we hear its not good enough classes bigger, hours to change.
    Another few years of this lot never mind qualified staff they'll be lucky to get any to teach at all.


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