Education Minister Leighton Andrews said:
“We are committed to ensuring local education authorities and schools carry on maintaining primary class sizes of 30 or fewer. I am sure that this is a target which will continue to receive support from both parents and teachers.”
The 30 pupil infant class size limit has applied since 2001. After taking into consideration the exceptions permitted by law, this year’s September Class Size Count revealed that just 12 of the 4,065 infant classes in Wales had more than 30 pupils, 4 classes fewer than last year.
The Welsh Assembly Government is currently working with the relevant local education authorities and schools to ensure that all 12 classes comply with the legislative limit by the start of next school term in January 2011.
The Welsh Assembly Government has also, since 2001, set a target of ensuring junior classes contain 30 pupils or fewer. At the time of the count, 4.7% of junior classes had more than 30 pupils. This compares with 25% in 1999 and 3.4% last year.
Leighton Andrews said:
“We want all our young people to receive the very best start to life and will assist schools and local authorities to ensure they provide them with opportunities to reach their full potential.
“The continuing roll-out of our pioneering Foundation Phase will ensure that all infant aged children benefit from even greater levels of small group working and individual attention.
“The slight increase in the number of junior classes above 30 is disappointing, but I urge schools and local authorities to work together to maintain this made in Wales policy."