Peter Lilley, MP for Hitchin and Harpenden, raised the issue of teacher recruitment and rising class sizes in Hertfordshire secondary schools in Parliament yesterday. Earlier this year, Mr. Lilley revealed that the ratio of pupils to teachers in maintained secondary schools had worsened every year since Labour came to power.
Peter Lilley said:
“Employing more classroom assistants will not solve the basic problem of teacher recruitment in Hertfordshire?s schools. They perform a valuable role in supplementing the work of teachers in the classroom, but should never substitute for them.
“I wanted the Minister to explain why, therefore, the pupil:teacher ratio has deteriorated in secondary schools and in Hertfordshire and most other English counties since 1996/7. It has risen from 15.7 to 16.7 in just five years. The minister tacitly admitted that the growing shortage of teachers in secondary schools is the result of shifting resources to meet the arbitrary target for class sizes in infant schools.?