P1 Class Sizes: Scottish Government Consultation on Regulations to Reduce P1 Classes

Created on: 25 Jan 2018 | Last modified: 20 Apr 2023

Views are sought on whether regulations to provide for the statutory maximum of P1 classes of 25 from August 2011 should be introduced.

The mechanisms for establishing class size maxima are subject to a separate review by Scottish Government. The EIS is represented on that working group and holds the view that incorporation of class size maxima into teachers' contracts of employment through the Scottish Negotiating Committee for Teachers offers the most robust mechanism to establish class size maxima.

Since the introduction of the Education (Lower Primary Class Sizes) Regulations 1999 (SI 1999/1080) P1 classes were to be reduced to a maximum of 25. The Concordat agreed between Scottish Government and COSLA made a specific commitment to "as quickly as it is possible" to reduce class sizes in P1 and P3 to a maximum of 18.

While the current consultative document sets out the Government's intention to reduce class sizes in line with the Concordat the decision to regulate for a class size maximum of 25 sets that commitment to one side, at least in the short term.

This confirms to the EIS that, to date, the Concordat has failed to deliver. The consequences for workforce planning and teacher employment are well documented. Therefore, while regulation is not our preferred mechanism to deliver class size maxima and while the maximum of 25 is less than our aspiration of a maximum of 20 the EIS supports introducing regulations to provide for a statutory maximum of 25 from August 2011.

Download PDF