Class size reductions possibly costly for little gain

How the decision to reduce class sizes from will impact state-integrated schools is currently unknown, says Catholic Education Office CEO, Kevin Shore, (pictured).

On April 17, The Minister of Education Jan Tinetti announced class ratios in Years 4 to 8 will be reduced from 1 teacher to 29 students to 1 teacher to 28 students.

Shore says reducing the ratio by one student is unlikely to significantly impact state-integrated schools.

However, he concedes in some cases it is possible new classrooms will have to be built, adding that, if that were the case, the government would meet the bulk of the cost.

The agreement signed in 2016 between the Association of Proprietors of Integrated Schools (APIS) and the Secretary of Education outlines the Government’s commitment to fund to a minimum of 85 percent of additional property costs resulting from any future education policy changes.

“Proprietors can feel assured that the Government will be required to fund this to at least 85 percent of the cost,” Shore says.

APIS has promised to communicate with stakeholders as further information comes to hand.

Tinetti says the smaller classes will improve education outcomes for students as a response to the current concerns over falling achievement levels in literacy and numeracy.

By the beginning of 2025, class ratios for years 4 to 8 will move from 1:29 to 1:28, she says.

This will result in an extra 320 full-time teachers in primary and intermediate schools nationwide. Half these teachers will be in classrooms from next year.


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