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La Houguette numbers
Response to Guernsey Press re La Houguette numbers 21-5-12
What is the minimum capacity for a class to be viable? What is the maximum capacity per class?
The Education Department has established a maximum primary class size of 30. Schools are expected not to exceed this without the agreement of the Department. Schools are expected to maintain an upper limit of 28 where possible.
There is no established minimum capacity for a class to be viable however the Department has an obligation to manage its resources in an efficient and effective manner. Research shows that it is the quality of teaching that has the greatest impact on pupil progress and attainment rather than class size.
All reception classes have a teacher and teaching assistant.
How many applied for positions in the class?
By the registration cut off date of 24th February, 22 children had applied for a place in La Houguette's Reception year. In the post registration period some parents have continued to attempt to register at the school and at one point the numbers could have been pushed up to 33 pupils. As of today, there are 27 children registered, including three children who are 'out of catchment' but have siblings currently at the school.
How many children were turned away? Where are those children going to go instead?
No children living in the La Houguette catchment have been turned away. Parents were contacted by letter on 11th May (copy attached)and offered the choice of attending another school where there was spare capacity. A small number of parents have chosen to accept a place for their child at Forest, Castel or St. Martin's Primary Schools where there is spare capacity. This is in line with our stated procedures and is a common sense approach where there is spare capacity in other schools and helps regulate class sizes across the education service.
Can the Education Department justify two smaller classes instead?
The numbers registered for La Houguette's reception class remain within the Education Department's agreed policy for class sizes and so there is no justification for creating two smaller classes. Numbers would need to be nearer the 50 mark for this to be considered.
Can the Education Department justify La Houguette remaining open with only one reception class? Particularly in light of the Mulkerrin report which stated there are 800 empty school places.
This is not connected to the Mulkerrin review. There are several successful single form entry schools in Guernsey - Forest, St. Andrew's and St. Mary & St. Michael Primary Schools plus St. Sampson's Infant School. The fact that La Houguette only has one reception class this year is based solely on the numbers. It is not connected to any wider debates about school rationalisation. If numbers are sufficient for two classes next year then the Department would expect that to be accommodated.
Can you provide me with a list of each primary school and how many classes/pupils they will have in September?
The numbers are currently changing on a weekly basis and so the figures below are only a snapshot guide which may change. Final numbers will only be known once the school term starts in September.
Schools No of classes in Reception Pupils registered
Amherst Primary 3 62
Castel Primary 2 46
Forest Primary 1 24
Hautes Capelles Primary 3 78
La Houguette Primary 1 27
La Mare de Carteret Primary 2 44
Notre Dame du Rosaire 2 44
St Andrew's Primary 1 27
St Sampson's Infants 1 26
St Martin's Primary 3 66
St Mary & St Michael 1 19
Vale Infants 2 59
Vauvert Primary 2 53 (inc 2 pupils from Herm who come over once a week)
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