Reducing class sizes grant is ‘making a real difference’ to Welsh schools

Monday January 13th, 2020

A progress report released today (Monday, January 13) has shown how a £36m Welsh Government grant to reduce infant class sizes is ‘making a real difference’ to schools across Wales.Government Opportunities

The report reveals how the Welsh Government has made progress in reducing infant class sizes in the targeted schools since the grant was launched in April 2017.

Reducing infant class sizes was a key part of the Progressive Agreement reached between Kirsty Williams and the First Minister. In line with international evidence, the policy targets schools that would most benefit from smaller classes, such as those with high levels of deprivation, additional learning needs, and/or where teaching and learning needs to improve.

Some key findings of the report are as follows:

The grant is funding 110 additional teachers, 42 additional learning assistants and 52 additional classrooms and improved facilities in 115 schools across Wales;

the percentage of all infant classes and learners in classes over 30 has reduced since the introduction of the grant, with a reduction in class sizes across all targeted schools;

the number of schools which were in the red or amber category of the school categorisation system has decreased during the grant period.

Since its introduction 388 infant classes have benefited from the policy, resulting in there being 770 more learners in classes below 20,and 2,592 fewer learners in classes of 29 learners or more.

To coincide with the publication of the report Education Minister Kirsty Williams visited Penyrheol Primary in Swansea – a school that has benefitted from two additional teachers, two new learning assistants and £162,812 of capital funding for additional classrooms through the project.

The school now has an average infant class size of 23.

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