I've found a nursery for my DS to attend. The staff:pupil ratio is 1:8. They do 20% teacher-led tasks and 80% free play. They also do 2 hours of forest school a week. Do those figures sound ok? Is that a high amount of children to have per teacher? I'm not sure if that's too much teacher-led tasks. TIA
He'll be 3 when he starts in September. It's an independent fee-paying school. I think they determine their own ratios. I've been told by a separate nursery that some nurseries are higher, some are lower. I just wasn't sure if 1:8 is a 'good' ratio. He's SEN, but not bad enough to require 1:1. He won't get an EHCP.
We're in England. I wasn't sure how it compares to a state school. We can't afford the fees once he joins proper school, but I thought i'd take advantage of the free funding and send him to a 'posh' school for nursery. We absolutely live it there and he was so comfortable on the two occasions we've visited.
The legal ratio for 3-4 year olds is actually 1:13 where there is a Level 6 qualified practitioner (Early Years Professional Status, QTS etc). In practice every setting I've come across uses 1:8, so I'd say it sounds normal.
Independent schools aren't a law unto themselves though, and settings registered for early years provision (i.e where you can use your funded hours) will be registered with Ofsted, even if they are part of an independent school which is otherwise inspected by ISI.
Independent schools still have to follow all the same regulations as state run & private nurseries. It changes further up, but certainly they have to have the prescribed ratios.
Also if they didnt, nobody would choose them!
My DS attends a prep school pre school and his is similar. It's not always 1:8 because sometimes there are fewer children in for some sessions, but it would never be more.
Time wise it's probably similar, but I don't think a percentage could be applied to it. There are lots of teacher led activities on offer throughout the day, which the children are free to participate in as they see fit, and will get encouragement to do so if deemed suitable. He's only 3 so does a lot of free play still, but I know the older children do slightly different activities which help ready them for reception - whilst also doing plenty of free play still
*“*^*I think they determine their own ratios.*^*”* They must follow the EYFS ratios by law unless they’ve been granted exemption. All schools including independent schools are subject to EYFS regulations.
1:3 for U2s 1:4 for 2-3s 1:8 for 3-4s 1:13 if there is a teacher in the room
That is the same for all settings. It may be that not all places are full so the ratios are lower, and it might even be that they are just over the 8, in which case they then need a 2nd adult, so the ratio on the day would be 1:4and 1/2, but they still won't bee a 3rd adult until you get to 17 children, then the ratio drops again.
If your child has SEN and you are planning to go to a state school anyway I would recommend you put them in a state school nursery with a qualified teacher. If they need external support eg SALT then it is best to get the ball rolling early.
Oh gosh my child has better than this ratio at a normal nursery, I'd expect better from a prep to be honest. What's there SEN knowledge and experience like? Do they have a SALT visiting the nursery, what can they offer him that somewhere else cant?
It really depends how well it’s run and that is something difficult for the untrained eye to assess. What’s the vibe? Is it calm, orderly and happy? Or is the noise level high and do many of the children have snotty noses? Do the teachers look harassed or in control? Remember too that 1:8 is usually at least 1:16 by the time you account for one teacher taking a phone call, cleaning up a child, organising lunch etc.
The private / prep schools around here don't have qualified teachers running their pre-schools (and all the other odd names they give to them). Just because it is attached to a school doesn't mean there is a teacher in charge. I mean, they may be the exception, but I wouldn't assume.