Survey shows parents want smaller class sizes

A new survey finding most parents believe class sizes are too big shows Labour is right to reduce them, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“The Post-Primary Teachers' Association survey of 750 people conducted by UMR Research found 54 per cent of people with dependent children believed class sizes were too big.

“It also found 83 percent of all Kiwis believed there should be a maximum of 25 students or less in secondary school classes and 45 per cent thought there should be 20 students or fewer.

“Parents understand the smaller the class, the more time teachers have to devote to their children and improve their teaching practise.

“That’s why a Labour Government will put 2000 more teachers in schools by 2018 and reduce primary school Years 4 to 8 ratios from one teacher to 29 students to one to 26. In secondary schools we will reduce maximum average class sizes of one teacher to 26 students to one to 23.

“The PPTA has calculated that large schools will get the biggest increases in teacher numbers under Labour’s proposal.

“For example in Auckland, Rangitoto College will get almost 21 new teachers for its 2821 pupils and Mt Albert Grammar will get almost 19 for its 2447 students.

“Labour will not only reduce class sizes, we will improve the quality of teaching by pre-screening entry to teaching courses and setting up an advisory service to provide mentors and share best practise.

“We will modernise outdated school buildings and build new classrooms to cater for these new teachers. We will also close the digital divide by making sure parents can afford portable computers and end ‘voluntary’ donations which divide school communities.

“A Labour Government is committed to a modern, affordable and quality public education system,” Chris Hipkins says.