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Does this sound ok for a nursery??

(21 Posts)
brapbrapbrap Tue 07-Nov-17 13:01:38

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.

FenellaMaxwellsPony Tue 07-Nov-17 13:03:11

How old is your DS?

2014newme Tue 07-Nov-17 13:04:18

Ratios are normally determined by ofsted required.
It sounds fine to me. Kids can't play it their own with no adult support all day.

brapbrapbrap Tue 07-Nov-17 13:08:29

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.

willisurvive3under2 Tue 07-Nov-17 13:11:30

1:8 is very low. I thought it had to be 1:2 for under 2s, 1:3 for under 3s, etc? I've not checked the Ofsted website. Are you in the UK?

BelfastSmile Tue 07-Nov-17 13:13:48

DS is 3 and his Playgroup has a ratio of 1:8, I think. Although maybe not all the wee ones are there every day.

The activity balance sounds fine.

2014newme Tue 07-Nov-17 13:18:29

It's definitely not 1-3 for 3 year olds, it was 1-8 at our nursery

brapbrapbrap Tue 07-Nov-17 13:21:05

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.

brapbrapbrap Tue 07-Nov-17 13:21:34

*love it there

brapbrapbrap Tue 07-Nov-17 13:25:50

Thanks everyone

Caroian Tue 07-Nov-17 18:05:22

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.

NamesNamesAndMoreNames Tue 07-Nov-17 18:10:42

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 smile

TeenTimesTwo Tue 07-Nov-17 20:05:58

More interesting to ask might be:
- to what level are the staff qualified
- what experience do they have with (your type of) SEN

e.g. The nursery attached to my DDs' primary was very good at children with speech delay (because they got quite a lot of practice with children whose parents didn't interact with them much)

Norestformrz Wed 08-Nov-17 19:43:32

*“*^*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.

Norestformrz Wed 08-Nov-17 19:45:45

The legal ratio is 1.8 if there isn’t a qualified teacher.

BackforGood Fri 10-Nov-17 23:22:41

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.

Changerofname987654321 Sat 11-Nov-17 20:22:02

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.

brapbrapbrap Mon 13-Nov-17 09:02:53

TheY do have a qualified teacher. It's a nursery at an independent fee-paying (and slightly posh) SCHOOL.

ohlittlepea Mon 13-Nov-17 09:09:41

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?

LaughingElliot Mon 13-Nov-17 09:13:12

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.

BackforGood Mon 13-Nov-17 22:40:50

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.

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