Page last updated at 14:23 GMT, Friday, 22 May 2009 15:23 UK

Teachers get tough on class sizes

children in classroom
The target class size for primary schools is 18 pupils

Scotland's largest teaching union, the EIS, is to debate taking industrial action over class sizes.

The EIS proposed a 20 pupil cap 12 months ago. Now three branches of the union are to urge members to increase the pressure to meet that target.

At the union's annual conference, the Glasgow branch will propose industrial action over the class size issue.

Scotland's local authorities described the move as "disappointing and counter productive".

There are no resources in the settlement to reduce class sizes
Cllr Isabel Hutton
Education spokesperson, Cosla

The Glasgow branch has been joined in its campaign by South Lanarkshire and East Renfrewshire.

The East Renfrewshire branch will use the Perth conference, in two weeks' time, to call for small classes to be reinforced by statute.

Scotland's local authority umbrella body, Cosla responded to what it called "the EIS threat".

Cllr Isabel Hutton, Cosla's Education Spokesperson said: "This is disappointing and counter productive.

"The EIS knows full well that pressures on all local authority budgets are increasingly severe but, despite this, many councils are managing to protect education budgets and to increase them in several cases.

"We also need to clarify the incorrect impression on the broadcast media this morning that local authorities received additional funding to help deliver reduced class sizes in P1-P3 - this is simply not the case.

"There are no resources in the settlement to reduce class sizes."

'Significant reductions'

In the last year the SNP government has made some limited progress in delivering its manifesto pledge of no more than 18 to a class in early primary.

In May 2008, the union called for class sizes to be brought down over time to a maximum of 20 in primaries and secondaries.

It submitted a petition to the Scottish Parliament, which was signed by almost 80,000 people, calling for "significant reductions" in class sizes over four years.

Members of Holyrood's education, lifelong learning and culture committee was told there was "significant" evidence that cutting class sizes benefited students.



Print Sponsor


SEE ALSO
Council warning over class sizes
20 May 09 |  Tayside and Central
'Progress made' over class sizes
26 Feb 08 |  Scotland
Class size cut claims criticised
19 Dec 07 |  South of Scotland
Concern over class sizes cut plan
18 Nov 07 |  Scotland
SNP attacked on class-size pledge
09 Nov 07 |  Scotland
MSPs in class size clarity demand
31 Oct 07 |  Scotland
Warning over Glasgow class sizes
29 May 08 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
EIS chiefs in strike action call
03 Jun 08 |  Scotland
'Must do better' on class sizes?
25 Feb 09 |  Scotland

RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific