smaller class sizes help our children and teachers?
The SNP regards education both as a means of investment in Scotland’s
future and a way of preparing our young people for the modern
world. To ensure we focus on these objectives we will create
a single department of Children & Education, covering all
stages of the lifelong educational continuum.
We will use the current powers of the Scottish Parliament
to build a better framework for Scotland’s schools.
And with Independence, will ensure education benefits from
increased national wealth, with a programme of additional
An SNP administration will give children room to learn and
teachers space to teach. We will build on the traditional
strengths of the Scottish education system by learning and
applying the lessons of the most successful initiatives at
home and worldwide.
Lowering class sizes and raising expectations
Levels of literacy and numeracy are falling, truancy, indiscipline,
and violence are rising. Class sizes are still far higher
than in most other European nations yet International and
UK research has found significant gains in pupil achievement
in the first three years of schooling if class sizes are reduced.
Everyone learns at different rates. That’s why it’s
so important that teachers have the time and space to nurture
our children’s talents and help them to reach their
The reality is that classes are just too big so our children
cannot get the attention they deserve, especially in their
formative years. The SNP will change that.
Starting with children in the most deprived areas, the SNP
are committed to rolling out a programme to reduce all Primary
1, 2 and 3 classes to eighteen or less within five years.
This will be financed from our New Projects Fund. We will
also take steps to progressively reduce class sizes in later
primary and early secondary and increase the focus at all
ages on acquiring and keeping the basic skills.
We believe that excellence in educating our children will
help build the modern society we want and desire. Scotland
pioneered free education and built a reputation for quality;
we want to get that reputation back.