Students at a school are being packed into bulk classes due to a shortage of science teachers - and the headteacher has asked parents to volunteer people to step in.

Pupils at the Romsey School are being put in large classes in the hall and large labs.

A letter sent home has even asked if parents can appeal to friends who are science teachers so they can lead classes.

According to a parent, class sizes at the school tend to be around 30 but because of challenges in recruiting, pupils in Years 7 to 11 are being put in a hall with up to 150 pupils in them with one or two teachers.

This has worried the mum, who did not want to be named, who said she fears that her daughter will not be able to learn in the environment.

Headteacher Annie Eagle said the format of teaching has been adopted as a response to staff shortages but adds that it has received positive feedback from students.

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'Masterclasses' are a great opportunity

Earlier this month the school on Greatbridge Road wrote to parents to let them know about the challenges in recruiting, and said to respond to the challenge it would implement large classes, labelled 'masterclasses'.

The letter said: “In order to ensure that students feel fully confident and ready for their examinations, from Monday 5th February onwards, we are planning to deliver 'Science Masterclasses' in place of their normal science lessons.

“The model is planned to maximise specialist input at all levels. This will involve delivering masterclasses in the hall and/or the larger labs, where a specialist scientist expert will run sessions for several classes at a time.”

The classes are in the style of short ‘mini-lectures’ and students are able to go through exam papers and get feedback from teachers on how they performed.

However, a mum whose daughter is in Year 7 said she fears the 12-year-old is not getting the most out of her time in school.

'Is this the new normal?'

The mum said: “I asked my daughter this week 'what have you learned?' she said 'nothing because we can't actually learn anything in such big groups'.

“They get given pamphlets to take home so they can learn the things they need to.

"She told me there is only one teacher and an assistant there for a group of 150 people."

She added: “I fear my child just won’t learn and what if this is the new normal for them? My daughter just won’t be able to learn in that environment”.

The school headteacher told the Echo she is using masterclasses ‘as a direct response to temporary staffing challenges in science’.

She said: “We have communicated directly with our Key Stage Four students and their families and received lots of positive feedback, particularly from our students.

“The Romsey School values positive parent partnerships and would want to continue to work directly with any parents who have any concerns.”