Leader comment: No easy solution to class size rise

Children listening to their teacher in a primary school in Vaasa,  Finland. Finland has class sizes of 20 or fewer. Picture: Getty
Children listening to their teacher in a primary school in Vaasa, Finland. Finland has class sizes of 20 or fewer. Picture: Getty
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New figures out today show a 40 per cent increase in the number of primary children being taught in classes of 30 or more.

This will come as no great surprise to many parents and teachers but again highlights a growing trend in schools across the country.

Classrooms that are packed to bursting point and stressed out teachers who may be, through no fault of their own, unable to give every student the attention they deserve. Rising school rolls have been an issue for years with headteachers forced to deploy team teaching and composite classes. There are no easy answers and they all come back to investment.

As Scotland slips down the league table of educational performance, other countries are surging ahead. Is it a coincidence that one of the best education systems in the world - Finland - has class sizes of 20 or fewer?

Of all the challenges facing education secretary John Swinney, getting early years education right, allowing children to develop a love of learning in a comfortable and supported environment, has to be a priority.

Edinburgh has brilliant schools with fantastic teachers. We need to give them the support to shine.