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Class Size and Composition – Bill 33

The Surrey Teachers’ Association has history of advocating for smaller class sizes. In 1974, Surrey teachers, led by
their president Lloyd Edwards, walked off the job, traveled to Victoria and protested on the class size issue. This pressured
the government of the day to negotiate with the BCTF a commitment to reduce the Pupil Teacher Ratio in the province by
one in each of the next three years. This had a dramatic impact on class sizes as the PTR went from 22.68 in 1972/73 to
16.70 in 1981/82 and thousands of new teachers were added to the school system.

surrey-teachers-association-class-size

Learn more about class size and composition:

Bill 33, Education (Learning Enhancement) Statutes Amendment Act, 2006, was passed by the provincial legislature on May 12, 2006. The bill amended the School Act to include class-size (Grades 4–12) and class-composition limits, new conditions for distributed learning, and a change in the obligation of school boards to report to the BC College of Teachers.

The government has not provided school districts with any new funding to implement this legislation. Many secondary students are still waiting for smaller classes and students with special needs at all levels are waiting for the support they need.

What teachers need to know about class size and composition brochure (2010)

BCTF Class Size Research Profile

BCTF Class Size and Composition

BCTF Bill 33

Bill 33 Reporting Instructions

Report to STA Regarding Bill 33 Consultation

Class Size + Composition

Principal Request to Exceed Bill 33 Limits

STA January 2010 Memo on Bill 33

Remedy Award-Class Size and Composition

Important information for members

The BCPSEA is asserting that any discussion of class size and class composition constitutes consultation as required by
Bill 33. In response, to ensure that we protect our ability to grieve class-size and composition violations, and to protect our
right to meaningful consultation and classes that are “appropriate for student learning,” we need to take the following steps:

  1. Participate in organizing classes for September as you normally would.
  2. If it becomes evident that classes cannot be organized within the legislative limits, or are in any other way not appropriate for student learning (safety issues for example), document, and advise the principal of your opposition to the proposed organization.
  3. Submit to the principal a simple and general statement of what is needed for an organization that is appropriate for student learning (for example: 90 Grade 4 students, 12 with IEPs to be organized into two classes of 22 and two classes of 23, with 3 students with IEPs in each class). You may also include information regarding where students should be placed, which students should be separated, the distribution of students with IEPs, and any additional pertinent concerns. Please keep a copy of this letter and statement for your records.

What are the limits for Class Size?

Individual classes Grades K–3

Kindergarten: 22
Grades 1-3:   24

Individual classes Grades 4–7 must not exceed 30, unless:

  1. The Teacher consents.
  2. The Superintendent and principal agree class is appropriate for student learning.

Individual classes Grades 8–12 must not exceed 30, unless:

  1. The Superintendent and principal agree class is appropriate for student learning.
  2. The Principal has consulted the Teacher.

Class composition:

Students for whom IEPs must be designed and who are designated must not exceed three (3) in each class, unless:

  1. The Superintendent and principal agree class is appropriate for student learning.
  2. The Principal has consulted the Teacher.