The SNP today said the Conservatives had real questions to answer from Scotland’s parents and teachers over their attempt to block SNP efforts to reduce class sizes.  The SNP is calling on Labour and the Lib Dems to join with the Government in backing pupils, parents and teachers and voting down Tory efforts to block a class size cap.

Regulations to cap class sizes in primary one at 25 pupils will go before the Education Committee this morning (Wednesday 27th). The Tories education spokeswoman has put forward a parliamentary motion to block the move.

The current average P1 class contains 21 pupils, making P1 classes smaller than ever.  If the Conservatives are successful children could be forced into larger classes and councils will be unable to enforce class sizes of 25.

SNP MSP for Central Scotland and Education Committee member Christina McKelvie questioned the Tories actions and said parents and teachers would be outraged by the move.

“Class sizes are at their lowest ever, giving teachers more time to spend with children. Those smaller classes are welcomed by parents, pupils and teachers and the SNP is determined to protect those small classes and ensure the best possible education for our young children.

“Labour and the Lib Dems must be clear that they will back the SNP in capping primary one class sizes at a maximum of 25 and reject this outrageous Tory proposal.

“Parents, teachers and local authorities will demand answers from the Tories.  Blocking this move will put at risk the improvements we have made in early education. This move is inexplicable.

“Whatever game the Tories are playing it is time they put the education of Scotland’s young children before their party political dogma.  They are unpopular enough in Scotland – forcing class sizes up will only increase their problems.

“The SNP and Scottish Government have heard the concerns of parents and teachers and understand that smaller classes are a priority when it comes to education in early years.   We are responding to that priority and putting it into law, with the support of local authorities, to ensure we keep delivering for our children.”