100,000 pupils are being taught in classes that exceed the 30 student per teacher limit.

The Department for Education has released data based on information collected in the January 2015 school census, including information on the number of schools and pupils. The statistics revealed that the number of pupils has risen by two per cent and as a result one in 20 classes exceed the statutory maximum of 30 children per teacher.

Tristram Hunt, the shadow education secretary said: “The growing pressures on primary school class sizes should compel the government to rethink how it is allocating funding for schools. It cannot make sense for the government to continue to prioritise money for new free schools in areas with surplus school places when we have more than 100,000 primary pupils being taught in classes of more than 30.”

A spokesperson for the Department for Education said: “To help schools respond to rising pupil numbers, the government invested £5bn between 2011 and 2015 to support local authorities – creating almost half a million new places,” the DfE said. “On top of that, we have committed to invest a further £7bn in new school places over the next six years, to support the new school places needed all the way up to September 2021."

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