So here’s an interesting test then

We’ve been told for generations now that the secret to a better education is smaller class sizes. We must,m therefore, hire many more teachers. True, this has largely been said by the teachers’ unions but even that source might occasionally have a valid point. Although, when we consider that teaching is the profession with the lowest A level grades at entry perhaps not.

So, now we get to find out:

Maximum class size of 15 for England’s returning school pupils
Children will be kept in groups around half the size of normal classes but unions raise fears

Let’s see shall we? There’s going to be a massive rise in school performance? Or not? And someone is taking notes about this, right?

35 thoughts on “So here’s an interesting test then”

  1. Instead of doubling the number of teachers, (how?) tell the thickies not to bother coming back.

  2. Class sizes of 15 or less have been the norm at the best public schools for years. And have produced better academic results than the rest. Case already proven.

  3. “tell the thickies not to bother coming back.”

    So that is at least 50% of the teachers not coming back…

  4. Surreptitious Evil

    And have produced better academic results than the rest. Case already proven.

    Correlation is not causation.

  5. ISTR the research says there’s a sort of Laffer Curve-like effect. Too many students, and the disruptive ones spoil it for the studious. Not enough students, and you don’t get the creative disruption of students learning from their peers. 15 feels like it’s about the low end of the range.

  6. Public schools have fewer thickos, and fewer unmotivated trouble makers. These factors contribute to success not class size.
    There is a correlation between anti-authoritarian and anti-learning attitudes and the receipt of welfare payments. Not a big problem at Harrow or Wellington (for instance).

  7. If you halve class sizes you have to hire twice as many teachers. So all the teachers not currently teaching because they are the worst of their profession are now in the classroom. It might be better to be in a class of 30 with a good teacher instead of in a class of 15 with a poor one.

    It’s also my understanding that the claim that small class sizes are better hasn’t been proven. The data is very mixed on that point.

  8. The key factor is the number of disruptive students per class. Smaller class sizes mean fewer disruptive students, by definition. Private schools can expel disruptive pupils, although self-selection means they rarely have to.

    Since they aren’t going to magic up twice the number of teachers overnight, we can assume it will be either half-days or alternate weeks teaching; the other half of time will be spent in the playground, poorly supervised.

  9. Children aren’t at fcking risk, it’s parents driven to hysteria (a short trip for some) by media fear-mongering. A tiny number of school age children have died from COVID-19, far fewer than you’d expect from flu.

    Of course the teaching unions, a bit like the tube ‘drivers’, will take any excuse to skive and if it damages a Tory government so much the better.

    My (public) school had 20ish to a class IIRC. As well as the student & parent behaviour noted by other posters, it also seemed to hire pretty clever teachers. Since then I have met quite a few teachers and many of them were dim bulbs indeed.

  10. One thing CV19 may be revealing is that Youtube or online courses may be better in many cases than an actual teacher or uni lecturer (especially the latter IMHO). Go at your own pace and actually LEARN stuff. I think the key take away is that teachers are mostly about making kids learn, and providing the structure / discipline, than the actual transfer of knowledge. Motivated kids and / or parents may not actually need them at all. It’s glorified babysitting much of the time isn’t it?

  11. “Class sizes of 15 or less have been the norm at the best public schools for years. And have produced better academic results than the rest. Case already proven.”

    But children at public schools have been in small classes since they entered education. At state schools you’re changing the dynamic. It may have a beneficial outcome. It may not.

  12. Bloke in North Dorset

    You might be able to get the extra teachers, there’s plenty who went off to do something else, but you can’t magically double the number of classrooms.

  13. “the other half of time will be spent in the playground, poorly supervised”

    Or at lunch or on buses. They are going to mix, anyway, regardless of class size.

  14. “There is a correlation between anti-authoritarian and anti-learning attitudes and the receipt of welfare payments.

    !!

  15. Esteban is correct. Each teacher you employ over the minimum is the worst possible.

    I’ve taught big classes and small. Private (public in the UK) and state. It makes zero difference to me. I actually prefer big classes, because small are too reliant on the teacher and needy.

    There’s plenty of research on this: class size is a trivial factor. Well behind parental support, school discipline, teacher quality, etc. If a person wants to learn, a big class won’t stop them — as Asia shows.

  16. and yet ….Mrs N will be resuming her position as school flogger and ear tweaker in a month and as the government admit, they have no idea how much children spread the virus and they will not be distanced because it is impossible.
    So she is getting it and that means I am getting it.
    The only people who seem to care about this are the teaching unions.
    Thanks god for them because fat cunt Johnson is incapable of retaining sufficient detail to make ice from scratch.

    Still…. plenty of time in hospital to plot to bomb the fucker to Hades …

  17. In Croatia, and I assume in other ex-Yugoslav countries, they teach in shifts. One week the pupils attend 0800 -1300, the next week 1300 – 1800. Doubles the school capacity without adding a single classroom, BIND.
    There’s a saving on school meals too.Everyone, regardless of family income, gets a free snack.

  18. When we were considering moving a child from a state school to a private school it was the latter that had noticeably larger classes.

    Ah, you say, what about the playing fields that surrounded the school, and the swimming pool?

    Yeah, we would have to have given those up too. On the other hand the private school did have a netball court in the small tarmac playground.

  19. I was a very compliant school kid but I have gradually grown to be anti authoritarian through life. I think that this is because I have become more aware that people in charge of stuff are mostly idiots.

    I was at school in the 1960s and 70s. I don’t recall that there was any kids who disrupted the classes back then, it was a pretty ordinary comprehensive. This could have been because, back then, messing around in class resulted in red marks on the buttocks I suppose.

  20. Yawn…the ineffable tedium of living life on strong meds like newmy does

    Diogenes you know those things you write that you think sound laconic? Actually you sound like a old gay man who never came out..I don`t mean this as an insult specially but there it is bit sad..bit lost…bit pointless..literally a wanker.

  21. Facepaint –you are the original yawning wanker. And as for sodomy you stink so bad of treason and bad faith paid for by your EU masters you couldn’t manage to sell your arse on street corners in Anosmia City.

  22. In the middle of the Glorious Seventies when there was no fuel oil, my primary school decided to only teach the brightest fifteen of each year group of 60, wrapped up in coats and scarves and huddled around electric fires.

  23. Stonyground,

    “I was a very compliant school kid but I have gradually grown to be anti authoritarian through life. I think that this is because I have become more aware that people in charge of stuff are mostly idiots.”

    The main thing with bad management is bad incentives.

    In the case of schools, how easily and quickly can you “fire” a school and take little Johnny to another school with the sort of rules that you think work (like caning, which I agree with).

  24. Don’t they have 1-2 teaching assistants per class these days though? WTH are they doing to earn their keep?

  25. We had streamed classes, so if you were disruptive you just got dropped down the grades until no one cared, at least it meant everyone else got to focus on their education

  26. The teaching assistants are looking after all the ‘special needs’ kids. Which seems to be around half of them, these days.

  27. “We had streamed classes,…”
    I hadn’t thought about that. Being reasonably intelligent I would have been with the brighter kids so maybe the disruption was happening elsewhere.
    On the subject of the bottom beating, I’m a bit undecided. There would always be the danger of some sadistic type taking things to excess. I rather think that problems with discipline that we seem to have now are more down to keeping non academic kids in school when they would be better employed doing something useful, rather than insufficient whacking.

  28. Poor Newmania wrote “. . and that means I am getting it.”
    Wrong to a first approximation. There is data on partner to partner transmission and it’s lower than half.
    and wrote “So she is getting it”
    Wrong also to a first approximation. There is data on people catching this thing from school aged children and it is less than half.
    What Newmania did not wrote “Wash your hands in still soapy water for 20 seconds on entering and leaving every building with the facilities to do so”. Or “get your Vit-D level up by taking some direct sunlight” Oh, that’s good advice, but Newms wants to share stuff that makes him look a selfish prick.

  29. Bongo – but the other thing is if we’re all probably going to get it eventually and eventually we’ll have to return to work the only thing to worry about is that if we get it bad do we get good medical care..

  30. @Tweedledum

    Prep school I attended had 30+ class size and 97% 11+ pass in my class

    Grammar school, then move to GB, and Public School same and both great results

    BSc was 40+, 1 drop out end of year 2; 4 end of year 3 (stayed on in summer job), zero fails

    MBA was 102 and 1 fail.

    It’s quality of teaching and pupils desire to learn, succeed, win that matters

    @SE, Gamecock, aaa, Fatmatt
    +1 Yep

  31. More anecdata: my grandfather was a school teacher in Lewis County, KY, in the early 1900s. It was a one-room school house. I.e., he taught different grades in the same room at the same time. Not only was the class large, it included multiple grades.

    Several of his students became prominent.

  32. Bloke in North Dorset

    We had streamed classes, so if you were disruptive you just got dropped down the grades until no one cared, at least it meant everyone else got to focus on their education

    The bottom streams at the comprehensive school I ended up at had very good woodwork and metalwork classrooms as well as a garage with a couple of cars that could be stripped down and put back together. The lower streams spent most of their time in them and less time doing academic stuff.

  33. I recall that woodworking classes were a bit rubbish at my school. Everything was done painfully slowly in tiny stages so that it took us several weeks to make a tie rack. I now have pretty reasonable woodworking skills but I learned most of them from Norm Abrahams.

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