Class with hands raised
Class with hands raised

New analysis from Labour reveals there are now 17,491 pupils in classrooms of more than 30 in Nottinghamshire – up 35% since the Conservatives came to power. The number of school pupils in overcrowded classes in England has increased by 20.5% under the Conservatives since 2010.

New analysis published today by the Labour Party using data from the Department for Education (DfE) shows that 900,672 school pupils are now in super-sized classrooms, an increase of 153,141 since 2010.

Andy Abrahams, former teacher and leader of Mansfield Labour Group said:

“Children in Mansfield need all the help they can get to catch up after two dreadful Covid ravaged years. The last thing children need is to be stuck in overcrowded classrooms – yet under this government that’s increasingly the case.”

“This government hasn’t got a serious plan to get children back on track – in fact they are not serious about anything. Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan would give children in the Mansfield district the help they need from tutoring and mental health support to breakfast clubs and targeted support for those who need it most.”

Wes Streeting MP, Shadow Child Poverty Secretary, commenting on the new analysis, said:

“Super-sized school classes show that Boris Johnson continues with the Conservative tradition of pulling up the ladder. Parents do not want to see their children crammed into super-sized classes and the evidence shows that kids from the poorest backgrounds are hit hardest.”

The analysis released today follows the publication of Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan, which – if adopted by the Government – would deliver catch up support for school pupils including:

  • Small group tutoring for all who need it
  • Breakfast clubs and activities for every child
  • Quality mental health support for children in every school, and
  • Continued professional development for teachers to support pupils to catch up on lost learning
  • Targeted extra investment from early years to further education to support young people who struggled most with learning in lockdown.

Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan mirrors the support that the Government’s own former education advisor said was necessary for pupils to catch up. Sir Kevan Collins resigned from his position in protest at the Conservative’s ‘half-hearted approach’ that ‘risks failing hundreds of thousands of pupils.’

The table below shows the change in class sizes for all pupils between 2010/11 and 2020/21.

Class size data
Class size data

The analysis finds a strong negative correlation between the proportion of children learning in classes of more than 30 and the proportion of disadvantaged children who go on to higher education, showing that areas with the most overcrowded classrooms are also the least socially mobile. Similarly, the areas with lower social mobility have also seen the biggest increase in class sizes over the last 10 years.

Notes to editors

  1. Class size data for 2020/21: School, Pupils and their Characteristics, link
  2. Data on proportion of free school meals recipients going on to higher education: Widening Participation in Higher Education, link.
  3. Data for 2010-11 is taken from the NEU (2019). Press Release: link Data: link
  4. More on Labour’s Children’s Recovery Plan here.
  5. Sir Kevan Collins statement on his resignation can be read here.
  6. Combined summary of data, link.


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