68 in one classroom

SIXTY-EIGHT year 3 pupils are set to share one classroom at East Launceston Primary School this year.

Parents have raised concerns about how the class, which will have three full-time teachers, will work out of two regular-sized classrooms that are normally partitioned. The rooms will instead be opened to accommodate all the pupils.

Other parents say the high number of pupils has led to a reduction in the number of kindergarten days being offered at the school.

Principal Judy Pill said the teaching ratio was one teacher to about 22 pupils, which was the average class size.

One mother, who did not wish to be named, said she was shocked when her daughter brought home a notice about the extra-large class just before the end of school last year.

An information session was offered to parents on the day the notice went home and another a couple days later, which she attended.

``When one of the parents asked why we can't have three classrooms, we were told that there were not enough rooms in the school,'' she said.

Parents were told that at times the class would separate to offer some subjects like physical education or they may be able to use the hall, but otherwise they would be in one room.

The mother said she believed the school was good but parents were concerned for their child's education in such a large class.

She said she worried how all children would cope and about the impact of disruptive pupils on a large group.

Parents have also been told the class will become the subject of a University of Tasmania study.

A mum said she had seen her child's class increase considerably since starting at the school. Another parent put that down to an influx of children from private schools.

Ms Pill said the teachers would work collaboratively to plan, monitor and take collective responsibility for the students' academic outcomes.

``There had been an overwhelming response from the parents who attended information sessions on the teaching model that will enhance the successful continued implementation of the Australian curriculum and is strongly supported by research,'' she said.

She said parents were consulted on the kindergarten hours and there was overwhelming feedback for full days and not half days.

``They were informed well in advance so childcare could be arranged,'' she said.

Ms Pill said she would be happy to meet any parents who had concerns.


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