Figures released today show that under the Tories the number of infants taught in classes of over 30 in the South East has increased by 155%; going from 4,980 children in 2010 to 12,710 today – an increase of 7,730.
Tristan Osborne, Labour's candidate for Chatham and Aylesford, responding to the Local Government Association (LGA) analysis on David Cameron's failure to provide sufficient primary school places, said:
“This is why it is so vital for parents and pupils in Medway that we have a Labour government and council elected next month, so that we can cap class sizes and increase school places.
“Working families and their children in Medway are paying the price for the Tory crisis in school places, as class sizes in Medway alone have shot up by 415 per cent since 2010, as there are now 257 more children locally who are in an overcrowded classroom.”
Tristram Hunt, Labour's Shadow Education Secretary, said:
“David Cameron's crisis in school places is yet more evidence that the Tory plan is failing children and working families. Make no mistake, his decision to plough hundreds of millions of taxpayers’ money on Free Schools into areas where there are no shortages of school places, comes at the expense of the families in the areas where there is a desperate need for more school places.
“This is leading to soaring numbers of young children in large classes – up 200 per cent since 2010 and by 415 per cent in the Medway region, more temporary and unsuitable classrooms and children forced to travel further and further to get to school.
“Labour has a better plan. We will end the flawed Free School programme, and prioritise spending for new places in areas where there are shortages. This will allow us to cap class sizes for five, six and seven-years-olds at 30, supporting great teaching and improving classroom discipline, and raising standards for all children so that the next generation does better than the last.”