Hove MP criticises ‘broken’ system for school places

Posted On 17 Jan 2016 at 2:39 pm

Hove MP Peter Kyle has criticised the “broken” system for school places.

He made his remarks as the deadline loomed for parents to apply for primary school places on Friday (15 January).

He said that more than 26,000 primary school children were in super-size classes in Sussex as schools tried to cope with the pressure on places.

Peter Kyle

Peter Kyle

He spoke about a new analysis published by the Labour Party which, he said, revealed the worrying impact of the government’s failed approach to planning for school places.

The Labour MP said: “It is clear that the government’s approach is not working for parents and children across Sussex.

“Soaring numbers of children in the area will continue to be crammed into ever-expanding classes as the only option left for many schools.

“Some families applying today will go straight on to a waiting list with no offer of any school place.

“The current system for planning new places is essentially broken.

“It is time for a parent/student-focused solution which will drive up standards and put the urgent need for sufficient good school places in Sussex first.”

In their 2010 manifesto the Conservative Party promised to create “small schools with smaller class sizes”, Mr Kyle pointed out.

He also cited David Cameron saying: “The more we can get class sizes down the better.”

Yet in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex, he said, the number of pupils in classes of 31 to 35 pupils taught by one teacher was 26,325.

The number of pupils in classes of 36 pupils or more taught by one teacher was 988 and the number of pupils in key stage 1 classes of 31 to 35 pupils taught by one teacher was 3,742.

  1. tone__ Reply

    There is a real disconnect between number of pupils and number of sensible places. The obvious answer is more schools.
    Large class sizes is a matter of managing rather than quality teaching.
    On top of that it also means teachers have larger amounts of pupil homework to mark per teacher.
    Nobody is winning with this one.
    Someone needs to take the decision to hire more teachers and open more schools.
    Quality not quantity, we’re humans not rats.

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