1. ITV Report

Labour: Thousands of children being taught in 'supersize' classes

Labour said thousands of children are being taught in classes with 30 pupils or more. Credit: Barry Batchelor/PA Wire

The number of children being taught in 'supersize' classes of over 30 pupils is at its highest level for 15 years according to figures released by the Labour party.

The party's analysis of data obtained from Freedom of Information requests to local councils, indicates that around 102,615 pupils aged between five and seven are being taught in classes with at least 31 children.

This is up from 93,345 infants being taught in large classes last year, and 31,265 children in 2010. In 2000, there were 176,962 pupils in classes of over 30.

Labour blamed the rise on the Conservatives, which it said had spent millions on setting up free schools, rather than focusing funding on areas in need of more places.

The crisis in school places is yet more evidence that the Tory plan is failing working families.

It is thanks to David Cameron and his decision to spend hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money on a few free schools in areas where there are no shortages of places that the number of young children in supersize classes has more than tripled since 2010 and parents are finding it harder to get a place for their child at a local school.

– Shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt

Mr Hunt said Labour plans to bring back a strict cap on infant class sizes and prioritise spending on areas that need new school places.

A Conservative Party spokesman said: "Labour cut over 200,000 primary school places - and even ignored official warnings to provide extra school places after a baby boom.

"The Conservatives have created over 400,000 school places. There are fewer children in overcrowded primary schools and, most importantly, one million more children in good or outstanding schools since 2010."

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