At the heart of the plans is cutting primary school class sizes to just 15, to give state school infants the same good start as their peers in private schools: as the Indy points out, a recent report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development revealed that the gap in class sizes between state and private schools was larger in the UK – at 13 pupils per class – than anywhere else in the world. Internationally, the difference on average is between one and two pupils per class.
Setting low minimum class sizes would particularly benefit boroughs with a high turnover, like Islington. As a school governor myself, I know how the official number of pupils – recorded each January and on which school funding depends – varies dramatically from term to term. A lower number of pupils to start with means schools could handle an influx of pupils mid year much better.
Investing in schools isn’t just about improving education, important though that is. It’s crucial for children’s life chances and those of their whole family. Social class still dictates the education you’ll have and the life you’ll lead, not your intelligence or commitment. That’s wrong, and it’s Labour’s shame that it’s still the case.
I’m proud that my party is proposing something that will really change it.