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Kiwis want smaller class sizes - survey

Kiwis want smaller class sizes - survey

More than eight in 10 New Zealanders - across the political spectrum - want to see secondary school classes at 25 or lower.

A UMR research poll commissioned by PPTA last month revealed more than half of Kiwi parents thought class sizes were too large, said general secretary Kevin Bunker.

750 people aged 18 and over took part in the nationwide survey. They were asked to identify what they thought should be the maximum number of students in a secondary school class to support learning and for their views on current class sizes.

83% of those surveyed believed the number should be 25 or fewer, including 45% who thought the maximum should be 20 or fewer.

86% of parents thought the maximum should be 25 or fewer, including 48% who went with 20 or fewer, and 90% of women with children believed the maximum should be 25 or less.

“Class size has always been a major issue for teachers and these results confirm it is a major issue for parents too,” Bunker said.

The results crossed party lines with 78% of National voters, 87% of Labour voters and 84% of Green voters saying the maximum class size should be 25 or less.

“Parents across the political spectrum understand how important class size is to education,” he said.

It was good to see Labour picking up class size as an election issue and PPTA would like to see all parties follow suit.

Bunker could see positive outcomes in both the government’s Investing in Educational Success plan to encourage schools to collaborate and Labour’s reduction of class sizes and did not see the two as mutually exclusive.

“Both issues are so important that surely there should be some sort of political consensus,” he said.

“This public focus on education is a good thing, which hopefully will lead to a win/win situation for schools, teachers and students.”


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