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Nursery Staffing Levels


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Hi everyone,

I have posted this query before but still haven't got to the bottom of it and it's driving me mad!! xD

According to the EYFS documentation I understand school nurseries should have a teacher and one member of staff with a level 3 or equivalent qualification. Additional staff needed for ratios can have a level 2.

In my school I am the level 3 (Nursery nurse) and work with the teacher and a TA2. We have 39 places each session.

However I am taken out of nursery to cover PPA in reception one afternoon per week. I also cover in reception when they have meetings or training. This means the teacher and a level 2 are in nursery, occasionally with one or two students. Is this right?

I also cover for the nursery teacher's meetings/ training/ PPA. For this I usually have extra support from the TA2 in reception. This means a level 3 and two level 2's in nursery. Again occasionally with one or two students. Is this ok?

I am really confused :o Please help!

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As far as I am aware in a maintained nursery setting it is one QTS and one Level 3 for 26 children (1- 13) There is then a bit of a grey area up to 30 and you can have a L2. Once numbers exceed 30 there should be another QTS and you then work upwards, so if there were 52 children it would be 2 QTS and 2 L3. If the QTS is on PPA or short absence then she can be covered by a L3 or by 2 L 2's as a L3 will be present. I do think the guidance is a bit difficult to interpret myself and needs checking or challenging. I think that when they wrote it they didn't think through how it could be got around.

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As far as I am aware in a maintained nursery setting it is one QTS and one Level 3 for 26 children (1- 13) There is then a bit of a grey area up to 30 and you can have a L2. Once numbers exceed 30 there should be another QTS and you then work upwards, so if there were 52 children it would be 2 QTS and 2 L3. If the QTS is on PPA or short absence then she can be covered by a L3 or by 2 L 2's as a L3 will be present. I do think the guidance is a bit difficult to interpret myself and needs checking or challenging. I think that when they wrote it they didn't think through how it could be got around.

 

Thanks for the quick reply JacquieL,

So it looks as though we are fine when the nursery teacher is having her PPA/ meetings etc. - Me and two level 2's.

We have never had two teachers in nursery for 39 children, but until last year we did have two nursery nurses with the teacher. It's now one NN and a TA2.

Can anyone help with whether the nursery is covered when I am in reception?

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Hi

Children aged three and over in maintained schools and nursery schools (except for children in reception classes)

■■ 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.

There must be at least one member of staff for every 13 children.

■■ At least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification (as defined by CWDC).

Guidance on staffing arrangements during the teacher’s non-contact time, breaks and short-term absence is provided on page 17 of the Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage booklet.

 

this is straight from eyfs ratio guidance, not sure it will make things any clearer for you :o

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Hi

Children aged three and over in maintained schools and nursery schools (except for children in reception classes)

■■ 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.

There must be at least one member of staff for every 13 children.

■■ At least one member of staff must hold a full and relevant level 3 qualification (as defined by CWDC).

Guidance on staffing arrangements during the teacher’s non-contact time, breaks and short-term absence is provided on page 17 of the Practice Guidance for the Early Years Foundation Stage booklet.

 

this is straight from eyfs ratio guidance, not sure it will make things any clearer for you :o

 

Hi Lucie,

Thanks for the reply. I have read the bit in the EYFS re. staffing which suggests we are not adequately covered when I am in reception ie. no level 3 in nursery. Does that sound right?! xD

I will have to read page 17 and see if that helps.

I think this is a very grey area which I feel can be easily misinterpreted to suit the school/Head. Mind you I think that about PPA cover/ Cover supervision in general. I'll get off my soap box now!! :(

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I think that where people are going wrong is reading the bit about ratios without the bit before about these which says it is the minimum level, and forgetting that it says directly working with the children and having the correct qualifications. The two need to be read together and then it makes sense.

 

"The ratios relate to staff time available to work directly with children. Sufficient suitable staff must be available to cover staff breaks, holidays, sickness and time spent with parents, in order to ensure that the ratio and qualification requirements are always met in relation to the staff working directly with the children. Additional staff may be required to undertake management tasks, prepare meals, maintain premises and equipment and so on. "

So no you have to have a L3 in your Nursery at all times. It is the QTS who can be absent for a while as long as the cover is correct. Also bare in mind that students cannot be counted in ratio either.

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Hi Rachel

If i understand you correctly, when you are in reception, there is just 2 adults left in nursery, a teacher and a TA? this is definitely not OK, you must have at least 3 for 39 children and not students

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Hi Rachel

If i understand you correctly, when you are in reception, there is just 2 adults left in nursery, a teacher and a TA? this is definitely not OK, you must have at least 3 for 39 children and not students

 

Thanks for responding Mundia,

Yes this is usually what happens. The teacher and the TA2 are left in nursery. We do sometimes have students or volunteer mums as 'extra bodies' but no one comes in to replace me ie. there is no level 3 in nursery.

I am due to have my 'staff chat' with the Head tomorrow and wondered whether I should bring it up? I'm really unsure about the facts (that's why I need advice!) and don't want to cause problems either. I love my job and want to do things properly.

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:o I had my 'staff chat' today and am in shock by the Heads response!!

She was lovely, looked at the documentation I brought with me re. staffing needed for nursery in the EYFS but then said...........But if the nursery teacher is present while you are in covering in reception that's ok isn't it? I said I didn't think it was looking at the notes.

She then went on to enquire what level of qualifications both the nursery and reception TA's had. I said level 2 for the nursery TA and that the one in reception although employed as a level 2 was a qualified level 3. She thought for a bit then read out 'holds a recognised level 3 qualifcation' bit again.

A horrible thought crossed my mind when I left.......I hope she is not thinking of using the reception TA's qualification as a way of getting round it! Could she do this?

She said she would take the documentation away and get back to me. What do you all think? I would be really interested in your thoughts.

Apart from that it was a really nice meeting!

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Hi everyone,

Just thought I would send an update re. my EYFS staffing problem.

I spoke to my union rep for advice today. Apparently our Head can use the level 2 TA from reception to cover for me in nursery if she decides to. It's the qualification you hold not what job you are employed to do that counts. Seems all wrong to me! :o

So it's ok to 'use' her extra skills/knowledge to 'cover' in nursery but have no recognition in her job title or pay?

Also where is the continuity for the nursery children? What about the key person role? What about on going/daily group work?

I am hoping our Head comes up with something else as I fear I will be out of nursery more and more.

What do you all think about it?

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Hi all

 

I have been reading with interest tonight as I am a NN in a FSU in the mornings and then i run a lunch club straight after and then i go fo my lunch at 12.40 coming back an hour later to work as a Nursery assistant. ( short working afternoon!!)

 

However next year we are looking at the idea of me working until 2pm and then leaving off as getting cover would be easier at the end of the day and personally it would suit me.

 

But... from what I have been reading am I right in thinking that the teacher can be out of the room without equivalent qualified cover but if I go on my break I need replacing by a level 3? or does having 2 teachers around cover you?

 

Hope this makes sense!

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