Determining class sizes can be a complex task, influenced by multiple factors including teaching arrangements, student learning opportunities, and available resources. This article provides guidelines on how to approach class size planning in Victorian schools, with a focus on safety and the optimization of learning outcomes.
Principle of Consultation
When determining class sizes, principals, acting as the employer’s representative, are required to use the consultation provisions of the agreement. This approach ensures that all relevant parties have a say in the decision-making process, promoting transparency and inclusivity.
Varied Teaching Arrangements
Recognizing the diversity of teaching methods and structural options is critical. Whether it’s practical classes, team teaching, lecture tutorials, or different school arrangements, these factors can significantly influence class sizes. The primary goal should always be to optimize student learning opportunities while maintaining a safe and healthy working environment.
Class Size Planning
Within the constraints of school resources and physical facilities, class sizes should be as small as possible. Here are the general guidelines:
- For Prep to Year 6, average class sizes should be kept at 26, with P-2 maintaining an average class size of 21.
- For Years 7 to 12, groups should consist of up to 25 students.
- Special schools should strive for the smallest class sizes possible, considering resources, student needs, and the overall teaching program.
Practical Class Sizes
When planning practical classes, safety must be paramount. Class sizes should be determined based on available facilities, the nature of the activities and equipment, student maturity and competence, and the teacher’s ability to provide expert supervision. Practical classes are those involving potentially dangerous equipment or materials, or requiring greater individual supervision.
English as an Additional Language (EAL) Classes
For EAL classes, the smallest possible class sizes should be aimed for, considering available resources, the students’ educational needs, and the overall teaching program. This approach enables more personalized instruction for students who are learning English as an additional language.
Understanding these guidelines can help you navigate the complexities of class size planning. Remember, the ultimate goal is to create an effective, safe, and conducive learning environment for all students.