COUNCILLORS in Moray today voted in favour of raising the ceiling figure for the number of pupils in P2 and P3 at primary schools in Moray.
The maximum class sizes will go up from 25 to 30 for the next two, full school sessions.
The move will help address issues of capacity in primary schools – particularly in Elgin – and may help ease the pressure caused by teacher shortages across Moray.
Today’s meeting of the full council was told that any teaching staff freed up by the move would be deployed to vacant classroom posts.
It was also agreed to allocate up to £100,000 to employ classroom assistants to mitigate the impact of the larger class sizes in the six primary schools which it is anticipated will be affected – Bishopmill, East End, Greenwards, New Elgin, West End and Cluny.
The council’s acting head of schools and curriculum development, Vivienne Cross, said there were concerns about capacity in schools in Elgin as well as teacher shortages across Moray as a whole and both issues had been the subject of recent reports to the council’s children and young people’s services committee.
The committee had been told of significant capacity issues surrounding the Elgin schools which were projected to become a major problem at the start of the next school session.
“Increasing class sizes in P2 and P3 will greatly alleviate some of the pressures in relation to certain schools and would allow more parents to send their children to their zoned school within Elgin,” said Mrs Cross.
She said schools outwith Elgin would also have increased capacity and flexibility, although the increase in class sizes would not have an impact on the majority of schools in Moray.
The proposal to increase class sizes and to allocate up to £100,000 for classroom assistants came from Councillor Anne Skene, who chairs the council’s children and young people’s services committee.
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