In the most recent class size data released by the Education Department, metropolitan classes were over capacity at more than double the rate of regional and rural classes.
Schools are directed to aim for -
25 students in classes from Prep to Year 3,
28 students for Years 4-10
25 students per class for Years 11 and 12.
89 per cent of state school primary classes and 94 per cent of state school secondary classes achieved target sizes in 2015, according to an Education Department spokesman.
Crammed classrooms, Brittany Vonow, P.19, The Courier-Mail, 31 January 2015..
In most Queensland high schools we have senior classes (meant to be 25) hitting 30-33 students.
Add to that behaviour management and the genius idea of differentiation and I'm sure you can see the problem.
One teachers versus 30 wilful teens.
I'm a Queensland state school principal.
This is broadly how the funding model works for Queensland state schools.
Schools are staffed in such a way that the target class sizes can always be met at the start of the school year - but it might require some unusual composite classes.
I'll give a simple example that I had at the start of this year.
I had 51 Prep children. Target class size is 25 for P-3 classes.
No problem. I can make two Prep classes of 23, a Prep/Year 1 composite with a split of 5/17 and a straight Year 1 class of 23.
Bingo! Class sizes met!
Or I could do as I did and create two Prep classes (25 in one and 26 in the other).
This eliminates the complexity issues associated with a Prep/Year 1 class.
Teachers hate composites and parents do too. Trust me on this.
However, guess what? I've provided one of the 15% of oversized classes.
I'll make another observation.
Class complexity (composites, special needs children, behaviour problems, etc.) is always a bigger issue than the straight number of bums on seats.
My aim when drafting classes is to eliminate complexity and where I can't, then that's the area of the school I target for smaller class sizes.
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