Class sizes – too big, or just right?

Scotland’s teacher union, EIS, are pushing for the reduction in the number of pupils per class. Funds are being put into place to further support this, with their ideal number per class being 18.

In some areas class sizes have increased even further and show no sign of reducing. At the beginning of this academic year, classroom sizes increased from 27 per class to 28 in the Republic of Ireland and according to the Surplus Places Survey the number of Primary pupils are set to increase even further in the next few years. This will make it even more inevitable for the number of pupils per class to increase.

In an environment where there is only 1 teacher to as many as 28 pupils, this could have an effect on the childrens learning and could lead to scenarios where the pupils are being disruptive just to have some 1-to-1 time with the teacher.

Let us know your views: How many pupils are in your class? Do you feel this is an adequate number? When applying for a vacancy, is the number of pupils a key factor in helping you make your decision? Do you think the government are putting enough funds in place to rectify this issue?

2 thoughts on “Class sizes – too big, or just right?

  1. Thanks for the post! I believe this is an excellent discussion question. I grew up in Brampton, Ontario, just outside of Toronto, Canada, and by the time I was in high school my classes consisted of, on average, 30-35 students to 1 teacher. Having experienced such large class sizes first-hand as a student, I can say that it most certainly is a problem. The classes were too packed and the teachers were under constant strain, which in turn negatively affected the learning of the students. Although I cannot say I have any solutions to this growing issue, I would say that schools need to conduct more accurate enrollment estimations to better prepare themselves for the number of students they will have in upcoming years (i.e. consider schools in neighbourhoods where immigration is high that the average household has more than 2 children that will be attending school), and there is an obvious need for more funding and more teachers.
    – Jackie, Summer Intern, Curriculum Services Canada
    (,, Twitter @CSCInterns)

  2. I have classes consistently having 35-37 pupils in KS2. Class sizes should be based on the best number to effectively teach, around 25-30, not on how much money they bring to the school.Why is there a maximun in KS 1 and smaller classes in KS3, yet anything goes in KS2?

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