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Foundation Stage Unit


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I am currently the teacher in charge of a Foundation Stage Unit. There are 22 Reception aged children 2 of which are ESL. There is 1 Year One child who is ESL and visually impaired. In the morning session there are 10 Nursery aged children bringing the total to 33. In the afternoon there are 13 Nursery aged children bringing the total to 36. Starting on Wednesday the proprosed staffing by the Head is myself and one TA (level 2). I have expressed my concern at the lack of staff, am I justified. Can anyone tell me what the staff ratio should be?

 

PLEASE HELP! I am very frustrated :o

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You definately need one other person - I think that the ratio is 1:13 for nursery age children and I'm sure I have read somewhere that when calculating ratios for FS units then these must be based on the youngest children's age. However whether it's 1:13 or 1:15 you still need another person.

Do any of the children you mentioned receive 1:1 support as if they do your head may be trying to get round the ratios this way. I've had a quick search and I can't see whether this is allowed or not although appendix two of the EYFS does state "The provider should consider at all times whether there is adequate supervision of children and ensure that the needs of the indidvidual children are being met". I took this to mean for example that children who receive support because of additional needs should not have this support watered down because adults are having to do more general classroom tasks.

 

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"What is the ratio of staff to children in a Foundation Stage Unit, and do I have to have qualified teachers?

 

There is little statutory guidance provided for children in the Foundation Stage, but there are recommendations. Decisions about ratios in maintained provision rests with the Governors of schools, with reference to their respective local education authorities. A higher adult:child ratio is needed for young children than for those of statutory school age. Favourable staffing ratios help children to make the most effective use of resources, they allow children to work in smaller groups or individually with the support and encouragement they need; and they help foster the necessary sense of security in children whose experience of groups larger than their family may well be minimal. Easy access to an interested and responsive adult is an essential means of reinforcing the learning process in young children.

 

 

Nursery class in maintained school

Education Act (1988) regulation 4 states 'for the governing body to determine'.

Children Act guidance, volume 2 states, 2:26 is 'suitable and sufficient in numbers' 2:26 (qualified teacher status + NNEB)

 

Reception classes

Infant class size legislation applies, where the majority of children will reach aged 5 within the school year

1:30 (qualified teacher status)

 

 

Where different ratios/recommendations apply to the range of ages within the Foundation Stage Unit, the lower ratio/recommendation should be the guiding measure (i.e. 2:26 rather than 1:30), but the final decisions that Governors make should ensure that the children's individual learning needs are met."

 

you can find the above at http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primary/f...152575/#1156667

 

The new EYFS hasn't lowered the adult child ratio for reception aged children so technically schools can continue to work with 30 reception children and 13 nursery children with 1 teacher and 1 nursery nurse.

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Hi Tracey,

 

I agree with the others, 1:13 is the nursery ratio when a member of staff is a qualified teacher.

I would enquire about the child who is visually impaired as if they are statemented they may be able to have additional support in the form of an extra member of staff who assists with their needs etc.

It sounds from your post you should have an additional member of staff with you.

 

We have a teacher in the nursery i work in, we have had this conversation many times, wondering why it is ok for a qualified teacher to have to have up to 13 children or more in a nursery environment based on a ration of 1:13 and nursery practitioners who are qualified in early years development, planning etc can only have a ratio of 1:8 within a nursery environment. The teacher in the nursery i work in, only works at the moment with small groups of 4 to 6 children and she says she would not be able to manage a group of 13 just because that is the expected ratio. I have to admire all you reception teachers who have to work with the nursery groups and your reception class as the ratio is high for you and only having at the most one TA, you work very hard.

 

Rosepetal

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I would get all that facts together, references etc. and make a case as I don't see that the school is meeting the requirement:

'' here different ratios/recommendations apply to the range of ages within the Foundation Stage Unit, the lower ratio/recommendation should be the guiding measure (i.e. 2:26 rather than 1:30), but the final decisions that Governors make should ensure that the children's individual learning needs are met."

It is expected that one member of staff for both Nursery and Reception be QT and one NNEB, which is Level 3 isn't it? Is a Level 2 equivalent to an NNEB or similar? I would try to make a case for another member of staff, and talk to the LA EYAT as I think your school is trying to save money rather than think of the children.

Seems to me that you could say - Ok there is one teacher for the Reception children without a TA, and one TA L2 for the Nursery age children, but where is the nursery children's teacher or where is the L3 TA? Worth a try. :o

I just feel sorry that your school undervalue their FS in this way, and very cross that when the new standards came out these problems weren't sorted out, so that all sectors have the same ratios. As has been said on here so often, we need hands and heads, and just because their is a QT it doesn't mean she has been given two heads and four arms.

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Thanks for replying.

 

None of the children are currently receiving 1:1 support. We are trying to get a statement for the visually impaired child but when the board met before the holidays he was not given one so we are appealing.

 

We are having an INSET tomorrow. I am going to raise the issue of staffing again. Especially as Year 1 have a teacher and part time TA for 13 children!

 

Will keep you posted on developments.

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Thanks for your reply. I will keep my fingers crossed that I receive additional support for my visually impaired child. I feel like I am constantly trying to juggle everything to ensure all children recieve their entitlement.

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Thanks for your reply.

 

We tried to get a statement for the visually impaired child before the summer holidays but when the board met he wasn't given one. We are currently in the process of appealing. I will keep my fingers crossed that he gets some additional support as at the moment I feel I am not providing him with enough support. As it is I feel like I am juggling everything to meet the needs of all my children and there are more due to start in October!

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We have an INSET tomorrow so I am going to bring up the staffing ratios again, especially as Year 1 have support from a part time TA for 13 children!

 

I am feeling really down about going back as I feel I am fighting an uphill battle. I really strive to do my best for all my children and with the best will in the world something has got to give, hasn't it?

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hi

We had this issue last year as we had in our unit 1- 18 ratio.

I went in to see the head and quoted ratios and said its getting too hard to work with these numbers especially as we had four children with severe behavioural problems, and one reception child who would soil his pants up to four times a day.

The head just quoted the figure of its ok to have 1-30 reception and its only good practise to have 1-13 or even 1-15, so we dont have to .

I think sometimes all the S.M.T should have early years experience and then they would understand the pressures on staff especially when children soil or need changing and then with one staff away changing the child the staff numbers are 3 staff to 69 children.

I hope your head listens and gives you the ratio that good practice for all.

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