Commenting on Labour Party analysis into increased class sizes, Dr Mary Bousted, joint general secretary of the National Education Union, said:
"The Labour Party is right to highlight this important issue. The proportion of pupils in outsized secondary classes is at its highest point in the last 40 years with 1 million children being taught in classes of more than 30. Class sizes have risen fastest in schools that teach the most deprived pupils. The historic practice of teaching poorer pupils in slightly smaller classes has ceased over the last five years due to funding cuts.
'This has a detrimental impact on children and young people's education. Clearly with such large numbers in any one class teachers and support staff have a far harder job in ensuring every child gets the attention they need.
'Much of this problem has been caused by the failure of Government to address the shortfall in school places that has been an issue for many years. The lack of sufficient school and college funding has exacerbated this problem with many schools having to cut the number of staff to balance the books. Government needs to address this problem to ensure every child gets the best education they possibly can. Having a teacher and support staff dividing themselves between 30 plus children is not acceptable."