An infant class is described as ‘large’ when it exceeds the statutory limit of 30 pupils. There are no formal policy restrictions on any other class sizes.
Lawful and unlawful infant classes
The School Admissions (Infant Class Sizes) (England) Regulations 2012 prescribe certain limited circumstances in which pupils may be admitted as lawful exceptions to the infant class size limit of 30 for one-teacher classes. This means that a class of, for example, 32 pupils is lawful if two or more of those pupils have been admitted under lawful exceptions. If fewer than two have been admitted as lawful exceptions then the class is termed ‘unlawful’.
The average key stage 1 class size has fallen
to 26.9 in 2019/20 from 27.1 in 2018/19. This continues a downward trend seen in recent years.
The average key stage 2 class size is unchanged
from 2018/19 at 27.9, following gradual increases in previous years.
These figures include all state-funded primary and secondary schools in England.
The number and proportion of key stage 1 pupils in large classes has decreased
In 2020, 65,400 pupils were in classes of size 31 or more, equating to 4.0% of all key stage 1 pupils. This is a decrease of almost 9,000, from 74,300 in 2019, when 4.5% of all key stage 1 pupils were in large classes.
The average class size in all primary schools decreased slightly from 27.1 in 2019 to 27.0 in 2020. The average class size in all secondary schools increased from 21.7 in 2019 to 22.0 in 2020.