Labour promises to cap class sizes under drive to improve school standards

Written by Anahita Hossein-Pour on 5 December 2019 in News

Education funding pledge comes after figures reveal teacher training shortfall

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Labour has vowed to cap class sizes at 30 children as part of a drive to improve school standards across the country.

The party said it would achieve its target by recruiting nearly 20,000 new teachers and pumping £25 billion of additional investment into schools in the next three years.

A further 25,000 unqualified teachers currently working in schools would also be trained in the first five years of a Labour government.


Labour also said cuts to the Pupil Premium, which gives headteachers extra funding for disadvantaged pupils, would be “fully reversed”, while billions would also be spent tackling overdue repairs and safety measures in schools.

Shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said: “Labour will transform education standards in this country for every child, capping class sizes and ensuring every child is taught by a qualified teacher in a safe school building.

“We will invest in record per pupil funding, restore the pupil premium and close the gap in support for children with special educational needs and disabilities, to give every child the support they need.”

She said the Conservatives in government had “slashed school funding for the first time in a generation, leaving pupils taught by unqualified teachers, crammed in to super-sized classes, and not receiving the support they need”.

The moves were announced as the OECD economic think tank revealed British school children are more likely to be miserable compared to their classmates in other countries. It also comes after it was revealed that the Department for Education has failed to hit its teacher training targets for the seventh year in a row.

But Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Layla Moran said the party had no hope of delivering their “copied” policy.

“Our schools and colleges should be world class, but instead Conservative cuts have led to staff being sacked and schools closing early to balance the books,” she said.

“While Labour have attempted to copy the Liberal Democrat policy to employ 20,000 more teachers, they have no hope of meeting this target.”

“With thousands of EU teachers coming to work in schools each year, Labour cannot square these promises with delivering Brexit.”

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Anahita Hossein-Pour
About the author

Anahita Hossein-Pour is a reporter for PoliticsHome, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets at @anahitahpour

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