Stephanie Blasts Barnsley Class Sizes

As reported in the Barnsley Gazette and Barnsley Chronicle on 15th December, 30 per cent of all junior-age pupils in Barnsley are taught in class sizes of 31 according to figures blasted by Barnsley East MP Stephanie. 

She has challenged the government this week over the figures which show in primary schools at both key stage one (infants) and key stage two (juniors) class sizes in Barnsley are higher than the national level.

An average of 28 pupils are in each Barnsley key stage one class, rising to 28.4 for key stage two - the second highest in Yorkshire and Humber and higher than the national average of 27.7. 

But almost 3,000 Barnsley primary pupils are being taught in class sizes of 31 or more. 

While the average class size in key stage two in Barnsley is 28.4 pupils per class, a shocking 29.4 per cent of all key stage two pupils (seven to 11-year-olds) are taught in classes of 31 or more, compared to just 17.5 per cent nationally. 

And in Barnsley 156 pupils are taught in classes of 36 or more - more than four times as many as across the country. 

Speaking in the House of Commons, former teacher Stephanie questioned Education Secretary Justine Greening on the figures, and outlined the detrimental impact this could have on pupils.

“Once again, young people in Barnsley are being forced to make do with conditions worse than others,” she said. 

“With schools witnessing unprecedented funding cuts and an exodus of hardworking teachers because of increasing workloads and a pay cap, children in Barnsley are finding themselves in excessive class sizes.

“As a former teacher I’ve seen first-hand how important it is that children learn in good size classes.

“I challenged the government on this issue in Parliament, and they should urgently set out how they intend to address Barnsley’s oversized classrooms.”