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Can a school nursery not have a teacher in it?

(8 Posts)
2ddornot2dd Wed 07-Sep-11 21:14:23

DD1 is due to start her school nursery on Monday, mornings only, five days a week. We went to visit last term, and were shown round by a lovely teacher and TA. The teacher has now moved on to the reception class, and we were visited today by a supply teacher and the TA.

At the end of the visit I asked the teacher how long her contract was for, and she said 'until christmas, and we will look at it then, but you know how it is for funding at the moment'. I didn't say anything as I didn't want a confrontation before DD1 has even started or say anything negative in front of DD1, who is a shy little thing anyway.

The nursery and reception are linked, so the kids can wander from one room to the other as they please, as long as they go back at certain times (story time was mentioned) and I am really worried that DD1 will be left in a room full of 50 kids, 30 of which are reception, so some of those will be nearly two years older than her, and being taught by a teaching assistant if this supply teachers contract isn't renewed.

Can this happen? For the record this school was in special measures a couple of years ago, but is considered 'good' now.

Playingwithbuses Wed 07-Sep-11 21:21:08

In Scotland some nurseries have nursery nurses only, some have teachers in class full time, some part time, none just have teaching assistants, none have only 1 person. The ratio for pre5 is 1 teacher/ nursery nurse to 10 kids, breaks sometimes covered by a TA. Preference/ school guidelines is to have at least 2 members of staff in a class at all times, perhaps not so much with linked classrooms.

I would seriously doubt they would run a nursery class with just a TA herself. I would check with the head what the arrangements will be staff wise in the nursery.

DecapitatedLegoman Wed 07-Sep-11 21:24:36

Well, the preschool nursery here is staffed by assistants. There's a coordinator who's a teacher, and a very experienced auxiliary who is in charge day-to-day and who I have great faith in, plus assistants. I have no problem with this, as nursery is really just for them to play in a structured environment and gradually learn about listening, following instructions and getting on in a group. It isn't a teaching environment so doesn't require teachers, surely.

Playingwithbuses Wed 07-Sep-11 21:28:56

I am biased wink I think preschool nurseries should be staffed by nursery nurses not teachers, they are not there to teach but to facilitate learning. But I do think should the staff should be qualified not just TA

mumeeee Wed 07-Sep-11 21:36:31

Most TA's do have a childcare qualification which is equivalent to a Nursery Nurse.

Feenie Wed 07-Sep-11 21:40:57

There must be a qualified teacher.

Early Years Foundation Stage legislation

Children aged three and over in maintained schools and nursery schools:
■■ The early years provision in each class or group of pupils must be led by a ‘school teacher’1.
A teacher must be present with the children except during non-contact time, breaks and short term absence.

1 As defined by Section 122 of the Education Act 2002 and the Education (School Teachers’ Prescribed Qualifications, etc) Order 2003.

2ddornot2dd Wed 07-Sep-11 22:36:47

wow Feenie, thanks for that. I was worrying about the lack of staff, as she has come from a playgroup with about a 1:8 staffing ratio, and am worried that she will be very lost if there is hardly anyone there at all. I feel a little better now.

Thanks again

CustardCake Wed 07-Sep-11 23:11:03

It is possible to be both qualified and very well suited to a nursery role. I have more than one friend who, having been a TA or Nursery Nurse (NNEB as it was then - don’t know what it is anymore) has gone on to do a degree and PGCE.
They all comment that some staff or even parents think they cannot be entirely attuned to working with young children because they are "proper" teachers but its perfectly possible to be both.
I am pretty sure, in England at least, that Nursery teachers do have to be qualified now hence the reason that some nursery staff chose to go on to further study and do degrees to transfer.

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