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Large class sizes 'contribute to increase in SEN'

22/10/2010 Joanna
Large primary school class sizes are contributing to the increase in youngsters being diagnosed with special educational needs (SEN).

This is the opinion of John Coe, general secretary of the National Association for Primary Education, who said teachers are being asked to deal with between 25 and 35 pupils.

Figures from the Department of Education show that the number of students with SEN in England has risen from 1.53 million to 1.69 million over the last four years.

Approximately 21 per cent of youngsters have now been placed in this category.

"There is a statutory limit of 30 in a class, but it is widely - and has to be - ignored because there is nowhere else for them to go. This is far too many," Mr Coe commented.

He added that because many teachers are wrestling with large class sizes, some take the understandable action of diagnosing SEN and getting extra assistance.
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