Class sizes soar in Kirklees since 2010

CLASS CONCERN Paula Sherriff.
CLASS CONCERN Paula Sherriff.

The number of primary school children being taught in overcrowded classrooms has rocketed, figures show.

There were 31 pupils in classes of more than 30 – the maximum infant class size set by the previous Labour government – in 2010. This rose to 842 by the start of this year, Department for Education data shows.

Labour’s Dewsbury parliamentary candidate Paula Sherriff said: “David Cameron and his education secretary Michael Gove explicitly promised smaller class sizes but they have not just broken that promise, they have instead delivered the very opposite – a truly staggering increase in the number of overcrowded classes in Dewsbury and across Kirklees.”

Miss Sherriff blamed Mr Gove’s free schools policy, which has been accused of diverting resources away from areas which need more places.

But current Dewsbury and Mirfield MP Simon Reevell (Con) said free schools were not the issue. “Either all the schools in my constituency who have grabbed the opportunity to become an academy or free school have made a dreadful mistake, or Paula Sherriff and Ed Miliband are wrong,” Mr Reevell said.

“If she thinks a certain school is having a problem she needs to say which one.”