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Lunchtime ratio(14 Posts)
Just checking name change has worked. Hang on
Brilliant, name change worked! Phew. I supervise our midday assistant team at a large primary school. We have 3 classes in each year.
Budget cuts, blah blah blah has meant that a few days per week we have a ratio of 1 adult per year group. So 90 children!
All of the team are first aiders and we have a designated first aid area for each playground. We have 4 separate playgrounds. We also only have 2 members of staff to supervise what can at times be around 200 children in the lunch hall.
Is this normal? I feel very hard done by, the team are stressed and exhausted, they regularly have to stay well beyond their finish time to finish first aid, write up incidents and such like. I encourage them to claim for overtime every time they do this.
We have a staggered lunchtime and so even though some teaching assistants do 30mins of cover, it's a drop in the ocean when lunchtime runs for 2 hours.
Just wondering what it's like at your school?
I am in a small country school in lreland. 95 children. One teacher supervises. Its always fine. But they are well behaved children so there are rarely any issues. They range from 4 to 12. If we had two teachers on we would need to do it twice as often which no one wants.
At my school, teachers sit with the children in the lunch hall. So no lunchtime supervision assistants required. Teachers get a free lunch, so it costs the school £2.50. Then the TAs supervise lunchtime play, so one TA per class supervising the entire playground, tennis court area and woods/wild garden.
We do not have a separate mid-day team, and behaviour improved 10 fold as the children took advantage of the mid-day assistants. TAs get a 30 minute break after lunch.
We have eight classes, five midday supervisors. Usually two in the hall and three spread over the two play areas. Teachers don’t do any duty during lunchtime.
We have 12 classes. Pupils aged 7 to 11.
Sometimes as few as 5 staff on duty. Two in hot food servery, one in packed lunch hall, one on each playground.
It's hellish and behaviour is atrocious.
We have a team for about 10 as our lunch/break duty team for nearly 900 children. There are other adults floating about. Sometimes I do feel like we need more! We have a big site and this is inside and outside.
Small 1 form primary with around 200 children on the roll.
We have 4 members of staff in the little playground supervising N and R so 60 children.
Then 3 members of staff on the large playground supervising KS1 and KS2 who have staggered lunches so only 3 classes out max until near the end, whereupon the 2 members of staff who were supervising the hall follow the last out.
All staff are first aid trained.
Teacher here. It certainly seems too few adults to me. I’m reasonably sure there isn’t a set legal ratio for non EYFS children, but it should be based on a risk assessment. Ask to review it and for a copy. I would also look back at injuries/incidents and compare year for year and see if you’ve had an increase for say a three month period. If you have, then it would be good grounds to say to the headteacher you feel the current staffing isn’t working. They will be hugely pushed to find money to solve the issue....but it’s got to be said.
Playground supervision has been a concern of mine for a few years. Our primary has 3 playgrounds and 3 supervisors. The school has around 420 children, so supervisors are watching over 120 children each, P7 are prefects so help out, but even so I find this worryingly under supervised.
I checked out the rules on this and it seems there aren't any, in Scotland where I am anyway. I know the school simply can't afford ore supervision as funds are tight, but the supervisors we have are incredibly passive and only respond to problems, rather than trying to stop them occurring in the first place.
I recently read a recommendation of 1 adult to 75 children as was looking at this. More recommended if specific risks need supervising e.g. climbing equipment etc
If any Reception children are present, the ratios are 1:13 at all times. If the staff are only Level 2 qualified, it is 1:8.
At my school (approx 130 pupils) there is 4 midday assistants. One for special needs (7) one for nursery (17),who are in a fenced off area on main yard. The other two then have the rest of the school on the yard (reception through to year 6). Behavior is normally fine, but do have issues with a couple of the children. Teaching staff will back up lunchtime staff when it comes to any misbehavior they are made aware of.
The EYFS does not state a ratio for reception children in a school environment for lunchtimes. So what Bowbridge states above is incorrect.
We aim for 3MDS that start in the hall with 100 children who then gradually migrate out as the children finish. Often we have only 2, which results in one MDS being outside with the entire school whilst the other pushes the remaining children into finishing quickly. I used to enjoy the job, but now feel that it is constant behaviour control and no added value to the children’s lunchtimes.
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