Should Independent Schools Increase Class Sizes?

Yes.There, we said it.

For a long time, the view has been held that the smaller the class size, the better the educational outcome, because the teacher is able to devote more time and attention to each individual pupil.

Which is true.


  1. If you expand a class from 20 pupils to 30, and each pupil is paying £5,000 a term, that increases your annual revenue by £150k per class.
  2. You can use part of the additional revenue to hire more highly qualified staff, to match or exceed the amount of individual attention each student receives.
  3. You have the overhead costs of the building and the facilities whatever happens.
  4. A class of 30 provides a lot more social interaction for each pupil than a class of 20.
  5. The pupil is educated with a wider perspective – learning and growing with a broader cross-section of society.
  6. A bigger group provides greater opportunity for collaborative & agile working, and more scope for other extra-curricular activity.

Often, in response to the above, we are often asked…

We can’t fit more in.

To which our response is, with intelligent repurposing of space almost anything is achievable – with no new builds or extensions required. 95% of schools we go to say they are restricted for space in one area or another; we always challenge it, and always find a way to maximise the space better. Try us.

What about the pastoral care we provide?

If you want to, you can utilise the additional revenue to hire more teaching assistants, that combine with the original teacher to provide more pastoral support. Or you can use the funding to invest in other pastoral resources for pupil benefit.


We don’t want to lose our family feel.

We suggest the family feel in the school actually derives from the school’s culture, and not the amount of children – which is simply a number. The culture doesn’t change if you add pupils – it strengthens it.


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