Britain now has the largest primary class sizes in the developed world.

For years, our heads, teachers and school staff have been raising the alarm about the impact of funding cuts on our schools.

They have done all they can to mitigate the impact on children. But the reality is that severe cuts are having a big impact for children and teachers.

A recent report from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has shown that primary class sizes in Britain are now the largest in the developed world ahead of Europe, Australia and the Americas.

And it’s not just in primary schools.

Class sizes in secondary schools have risen for the fourth consecutive year, with one in eight pupils now taught with more than 30 others. That’s the equivalent of an extra child in each secondary school class compared with five years ago.

We have more supersized secondary classes today than we’ve had in 38 years.

So what’s driving the increase?

Successive governments have been cutting funding to schools since 2008, leaving school administrators with little choice. Per pupil funding has not kept pace with rising school costs – dropping from £5,000 in 2015 to £4,700 in 2020.

To make ends meet, schools are cutting subjects, reducing teacher hours and making redundancies. All of this in the face of rising pupil numbers.

While immigration has little effect on pupil numbers, a spike in the national birth rate between 1999-2002 has put immense pressure on primary and now on secondary schools.

But higher numbers of pupils are only part of the story.

Constant and relentless funding cuts have also had a huge impact on teacher morale. The number of secondary school teachers has been falling since 2010. And recent studies show that a third of teachers in England leave within five years of qualifying.

It’s unthinkable that our schools have to go on like this – losing support staff, shedding subjects and cutting back on basic maintenance just to balance the books.

How can we expect children to learn and thrive in this environment?

Larger classes mean less individual support for students with teachers unable to provide feedback and tailored support in the classroom.

Funding cuts are also reducing curriculums – subjects like music, languages, art and design are being removed as a result of the pressure.

“If we don’t stop these cuts, we run the risk of lessons reverting to a Victorian ‘one size fits all’ model where any child with additional needs, gifts or talents, or just needing a bit of extra support, simply won’t get it.”
– General Secretary Geoff Barton, ASCL

This isn’t good enough.

At this election we need to send a message to politicians.

Britain is one of the richest countries on earth. We expect our schools to be properly funded so they can deliver the education for our children at a standard that we as a country expect.

Join the movement to win the funding our schools and colleges deserve:

  1. Find out how much your school stands to lose
  2. Tell every parent and teacher you know
  3. Order free materials to spread the word about school cuts
  4. Join the growing team of Stop School Cuts election volunteers
  5. Read our toolkit and get active in your community