§ Mr. Marlow
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science whether the reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio from 22.7 in 1970 to 18.7 in 1980 led to an increase in educational standards; and if such a reduction could be achieved how much money could be saved.601W
§ Dr. Boyson
Educational standards cannot be assessed to everyone's satisfaction, but there can be no reasonable doubt that they have benefited from the reduction in the pupil-teacher ratio since 1970 when one primary pupil in 11 was still in a class of over 40. The reduction in the ratio has permitted not only reductions in the size of classes but increases in the number of teaching groups, leading to a more varied curriculum and enabling more pupils to be sucessfully entered for a wider range of examinations appropriate to their aptitudes. For the saving which would arise from a return to the 1970 ratio I refer my hon. Friend to the answer I gave to his question on 4 December 1980.