£7bn 363 colleges 4.2m learners 263,257 staff

Smart cut : pay teachers more

Teaching in small classes doesn’t do anything for learners – it has no effect on their outcomes.

Small classes are boring for students, and for teachers.

Small classes are not needed, because so few people need them.

Small classes take money out of the teaching budget, and stop teachers being paid more.

So in considering how to save money in colleges, we certainly don’t need to protect small classes.

Following an earlier thread about the vital importance of teachers, I dug out Kinsey’s survey of the top school systems in the world


Their conclusions?

Kinsey's conclusions

Kinsey saw that the way to get good education was to select the very best people you could find, train them well, then pay them well.

But reducing the size of classes has nothing to do with improving education – of 112 studies, only 9 showed a positive relationship between student outcomes and reducing the size of classes; 103 found no significant relationship, or a significant negative relationship. “Variations in teacher quality completely dominate any effect of reduced class size”

Yes, students enjoy small classes – or rather, they can enjoy small classes if they have a good teacher.
But small classes with an average teacher are pretty boring experience for students.
And in the scenario of unpopular courses [unpopular = with low enrolments] with poor quality staff, the combination can be mind-numbing.

Smart cut

  • Cut all small classes.
  • Re-allocate the money saved into the “pay increase” budget
  • Increase teacher pay.


January 22, 2010 - Posted by | austerity funding, SMART goals | , , ,

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