Across England, thousands of pupils are being squeezed into bulge-size classes, often accommodated in temporary classrooms, due to councils throughout the country struggling to find primary school places.
In the past five years, the number of children aged between five and seven who have been taught in classes of 31 or more has doubled, from 23,000 to 47,400. Legally, classes should accommodate no more than 30 pupils, but some schools have no option. One in three councils are relying on these so-called ‘bulge classes’ or ‘expanding classrooms’ as emergency solutions to the demand. At least 81,900 children in 98 local authorities across the country are being taught in temporary accommodation, compared to 74,000 in 69 authorities in 2010.