Massive increase in local classroom overcrowding

Over 11% of pupils taught in classes with over 30 children

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New figures released by the Department of Education have shown a massive increase in classroom overcrowding over the last seven years. The London average for the proportion of children in classes with over 30 pupils is 8.9% but these were much higher in the local area.

Hammersmith and Fulham was worst of all with 14.2% of children being taught in overcrowded classes, up by 85% since 1997.

For Wandsworth over 1,000 local school children were reported to be in over-crowded classes 11.3% of the total and a 50% increase since 1997.

A spokesperson for Wandsworth Council said,

"Class sizes is not the issue it once was. The figures only show part of the story. They do not take account of other developments such as smaller tutorial groups, better ICT equipment, remote learning etc.

Wandsworth comes out around the average from these figures - Hammersmith and Fulham are the worst in inner London with Kingston worst in London.

Far better to look at results in that period. In Wandsworth the proportion of students gaining five or more A-C grades at GCSE has rocketed form 35% in 1997 to 50% last year. Just about the fastest rate of improvement in the country and a far better guide to how well money is being spent in schools and how well pupils are being taught than a simple measure like class sizes."

March 3, 2005