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Classes (Size)

Volume 649: debated on Thursday 16 November 1961

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asked the Minister of Education how many classes in primary schools have more than 40 and more than 50 pupils, respectively.

In January, 1961, 18,244 classes in primary schools had more than 40 pupils. Included in this number are 131 classes with more than 50 pupils. These figures represent, respectively, 14·3 per cent. and 0·1 per cent. of classes in primary schools.

Does not the right hon. Gentleman agree that this is a rather staggering and disgusting figure? Does he not also agree that in the main the children who are in large classes are in working-class areas and that they are the very children who ought to be getting privileges instead of treatment of this kind? How soon does the right hon. Gentleman think he will be able to alleviate this dreadful problem?

I feel with the hon. Lady that we must do all we can to alleviate the problem, but she knows as well as I do that in the year of intermission we shall not be able to do very much.