Welsh Education Secretary launches £36M fund aimed at reducing infant class sizes and raising standards.
The Welsh Education Secretary Kirsty Williams AM has launched a £36M fund which aims to reduce infant class sizes and raise standards.
The fund will target classes where teaching and learning needs to improve and where there are high levels of deprivation, the money will be invested over the next four years up until 2021.
The latest figures show that 7.6% (8,196) of infant pupils in Wales were in classes of over 30.
Welsh conservatives have questioned how the new policy can feasibly be implemented in the face of Wales’ teacher recruitment crisis,
Kirsty Williams said:
Our national mission is to raise standards and extend opportunities for all our young people.
Time and time again parents and teachers tell me that they are concerned about class sizes. We have listened to these concerns, looked at the international evidence, and are today announcing a new £36m fund to address infant class sizes.
Shadow Education Secretary Darren Millar AM said the new policy will not be a “silver bullet” to solving the educational crisis facing Welsh schools.
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The scant evidence base for this policy is well documented with a Welsh Government adviser having publicly spoken out against the idea of its implementation back in June.
Conversely, there is growing evidence of Wales’ worsening teacher recruitment crisis, and so it remains unclear how this policy can be made to work; smaller class sizes mean more classrooms, which in turn demands more teachers – of which our country is in woefully short supply. Mr Millar said.