PUBLIC SECTOR CUTS

Minister wants to boost high-school class sizes to 36 students

Increase in pupils and fewer substitute teachers to save three billion euros

In a bid to shave a further three billion euros from education expenditure, the minister José Ignacio Wert on Monday proposed increasing the maximum number of students per class from 27 to 30 in primary schools and from 30 to 36 in high schools.

Wert also announced plans to abolish cover for teachers’ absences of less than two weeks and a freeze on supplementary salary payments, among others. The proposal met with broad approval from PP regional education chiefs but drew scorn from their Socialist counterparts.

“You cannot confuse the search for efficiency with cuts,” said Isabel Celaá, the Basque regional department chief. José Campos, of the CCOO labor union, called the proposed measures “a return to the 1970s.”

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