The average primary school class size will increase from 24 to 31, according to the NSW Opposition.
Infrastructure NSW this week recommended that 90 per cent of the extra 250,000 students expected over the next 20 years should be squeezed into existing schools.
Opposition leader John Robertson yesterday said this would increase the existing student population of 752,000 by 225,000 – an increase of 30 per cent.
The NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli, who recently announced a $1.7 billion cut in the education budget, has guaranteed that class sizes will not increase between now and 2016.
However, Mr Robertson said based on the 30 per cent increase in student numbers, the average primary school class would increase from an average of 24 students to 31.
‘‘In kindy the average class will increase from 19.3 to 25.1 students. In year 6 the average will increase from 26.2 to 34.1,’’ he said.
Mr Robertson said the government would need to employ an extra 16,340 teachers to maintain the existing student to teacher ratio of 15.3 students for every one teacher.
“The Premier [Barry O’Farrell] needs to rule out cramming 225,000 extra students into existing public schools and guarantee there will be no increase in class sizes beyond 2016,’’ he said.
“It defies belief that in the face of increasing student numbers, the O’Farrell Government is cutting education spending by $1.7 billion. These budget cuts will only exacerbate overcrowding in school playgrounds and classrooms.”
The Infrastructure NSW report advised the state government against increasing the existing “footprint” of its school buildings.
“Increasing the average size of schools makes better use of existing assets and provides better learning outcomes,” the report said.
The opposition spokeswoman for education, Carmel Tebbutt, said the government last year reported 400 new schools would be needed in NSW over the next 15 years. However the Infrastructure NSW report says just 29 new schools are expected to be built, including eight in regional areas, in the next decade.
“There have been numerous reports of schools being overcrowded and nearly every government school in metropolitan Sydney already has some demountable classrooms,” Ms Tebbutt said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.