Class sizes would rise to 40 students in senior secondary forms across Sha Tin under the government's proposed reforms, head teachers have claimed. The issue is a prime concern among principals in the New Territories town about the senior secondary school reforms, a survey by the Sha Tin District Secondary School Heads Association has revealed. More than 95 per cent want class sizes reduced, with 56.8 per cent saying they should be capped at 30 and 38.6 per cent wanting a limit of 35. The survey of 44 principals found more than half have serious reservations about the implementation of the reforms. Although 100 per cent supported the reforms in principle, only 47.8 per cent backed the curriculum proposals as laid out in the consultation paper. Chairman Lai Nai-pang said principals had many worries about implementation, including larger class sizes, reduction in teacher numbers, liberal studies and school-based assessment. The association calculated average class sizes for senior secondary forms using the government's proposed teacher to class ratio of 1: 20.91 to reach the figure of 40 students. It would also mean the loss of three to four teachers per school. 'We are all very upset that the teacher student ratio will actually rise in most schools in Sha Tin under the proposals,' he said. 'We are calling on the government to reduce student teacher ratios in the senior secondary classes so that these reforms can be effective.' The survey was sent to the Education and Manpower Bureau as part of the association's submission for the consultation completed this week. An EMB spokesman said a more detailed blueprint on the reforms would be released in mid-2005. Arthur Li Kwok-cheung, Secretary for Education and Manpower, said on Thursday that he was exploring options to implement small class teaching and considering allowing schools to hire more teachers for smaller classes in liberal studies. But the government lacked resources to implement small classes across the board.