Primary School Class Sizes Consultation

Quoted in the Times Educational Supplement Scotland today:

Meanwhile, lawyers have claimed that the Government’s proposed regulation for a new legally-binding limit of class sizes to 25 in P1 fails to close a legal loophole exposed by a landmark Court of Session judgment in 2008. Lord Woolman ruled at the Haddington Sheriff Court that “class sizes are not affected by pupils placed by sheriffs or appeal committees”.

Earlier this year, the Government said it wanted to give councils the legal ability to limit P1 class sizes to 25 after a series of legal challenges by parents made it clear that the legal maximum was still 33.

Iain Nisbet, head of the education law unit at the Govan Law Centre in Glasgow, claims that the Government’s draft regulations, as they stand, would still allow parents making a placing request from outwith a catchment area to breach the proposed 25-pupil limit if they mount an appeal.

“We have got a situation where effectively the only way to maintain the 25 maximum is by being dishonest with parents and keeping secret the fact that if they appealed, they would automatically be successful,” he said.

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