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Chamber and committees

Motion ref. S6M-01603

School Class Size Inequality

Submitted by: Alex Rowley, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour.
Date lodged: Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Supported by: Foysol Choudhury, Katy Clark, Pauline McNeill, Mercedes Villalba, Martin Whitfield

That the Parliament believes that growing class size is one of the major drivers of inequality in education and that a reduction would help with education recovery; notes international research, which suggests that reducing class size can have positive impacts on pupil outcomes when implemented with pupil populations that face socio-economic disadvantage; further notes other studies, which report that smaller class size in primary schools can have a greater positive impact on disadvantaged pupils than on their peers, and lead to overall increases in student achievement; understands that, for 2021-22, Fife Council schools have 412 primary classes with over 25 pupils per classroom and 136 primary classes with over 30; further understands that many private or independent schools operate with teacher/pupil ratios of between 1:05 and 1:12; appreciates the Scottish Government plan for education recovery and welcomes the commitment to increase teacher numbers; understands that the plan has been described as a “missed opportunity” by the general secretary of the EIS who stated that “Overall, however, the plan largely re-states existing work streams and fails to promote a single big initiative such as a reduction in class sizes, which would catalyse an education recovery programme and bring immediate benefits to Scotland’s children and young people...[and that] smaller class sizes, even on a limited basis as a starting point, such as P2 and P3 or S1 and S2, would mean more teacher time per pupil and assist with targeted interventions where the pandemic has impacted disproportionately on children’s lives...[and] as a country, we need to be bolder in our ambitions for our youth”, and believes that class size must be reduced in order to reduce inequality in education.