School year begins with thousands fewer primary pupils

The number of children attending primary school this academic year dropped by 21,000, 1.4% down on the 2012-2013 school year, according to figures from teaching union AOb.

The fall in pupil numbers is even greater in special schools where the decline is 4.4%.

The AOb estimates there are 900 fewer classes in primary schools. ‘Large group 8 classes [for older pupils] but smaller group 1 classes [for 4-year-olds],’ the union says.

The decrease in the population has been noticeable since 2008 when there were 1.55 million pupils in primary education. That number has now fallen to 1.48 million, according to figures from education funding group DUO.

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