A Guide to Safe Practice in Art & Design

4.6   Group Sizes

The Education (School Premises) Regulations (1981) do not specify maximum pupil numbers in relation to individual teaching spaces. However, there is an obvious relationship between the degree of hazard and the size of the teaching group in certain activities. For example, in specialised studios, such as ceramics, the space may have been planned with maximum numbers of around 20 pupils in mind, but in large art rooms there is usually sufficient room for up to 30 pupils, depending on the activity. Full class sizes of around 30 pupils might, however, place constraints on the range of activities that can safely be accommodated.

The size of practical groups and pupil-teacher ratios should take account of the assessment of potential hazards and appropriate safety regulations. Local authorities and other employers may issue guidelines on staffing ratios for practical subjects. This does not remove the direct management responsibility from the teaching staff, who must take account of the age, ability, aptitude and special educational needs of the pupils in relation to the accommodation, equipment and activities.