Infant class size limits: reception and KS1

Get to grips with the rules on infant class sizes.

Last reviewed on 6 November 2023
School types: AllSchool phases: Nursery, PrimaryRef: 1487
  1. Each infant class must have no more than 30 pupils
  2. You can admit additional pupils under limited, exceptional circumstances 
  3. If you have mixed-age classes 
  4. Definitions of 'infant class' and 'school teacher'
  5. Holiday, after-school and breakfast clubs

This article is based on the School Admissions Code (page 24), which applies to all maintained schools.

If you're an academy, your funding agreement will likely require you to adhere to the code, but check yours to make sure.

Each infant class must have no more than 30 pupils

This applies when a class is taught by a single 'school teacher' (see a definition of this below).

If the class is taught by more than 1 school teacher, it can have more than 30 pupils, as long as there aren't more than 30 pupils for every 1 of those teachers. 

These children will remain an 'excepted' pupil for the time they're in an infant class or until the class numbers fall back to the current infant class size limit. Even if this means you end up with more than 30 pupils, you won't need to employ