Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Legal Ramifications for SNP Primary Class Size Reductions

Now I'm all for the reduction in class sizes for our younger children, it is one of those policies on which the SNP and Lib Dems have largely agreed on the theory. So therefore you can imagine my shock when the Lib Dem/SNP led Edinburgh council pointed out that the SNP target of 18 for primaries 1 through 3 may actually be illegal to implement.

The problem is the conflict between the single outcome agreement for delivery of key services by councils and the policy. Edinburgh Council believes it cannot use class size reductions as a defence against parental challenges against not being allowed to place their children at a certain school. There is no legal power in place for a local authority to place a restriction on the size of any primary class.

It's a shame that after years of opposition and planning such a benchmark policy should have such a nagging flaw in it, of course this sort of thing may not have been obvious until the implementers who know all current, relevant legislation started to look at practical implementation. So hopefully this is a hiccup that can be overcome rather straightforwardly to help improve the early education of our children.

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