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Adult - Child Ratio


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:o Hi can anyone tell me for certain the adult to child ratio for a foundation unit? I have recently taken the post of reception teacher, I have 44 children, 2 nursery nurses and myself. The classroom has been renovated over the Summer, 2 classrooms knocked through to one with half wet play area and half carpeted. The size of the class is very large.

As a FSU we will also be accomodating nursery children twice a week.

 

I have requested another nursery nurse but have been told we have to be accomodating 46 children.

 

Thanks

 

Jacqui

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Wow, Sorry can't answer your querie but hats off to you and your staff. Do you have more staff when the nursery children come in??

 

You must all need extra strong headache tablets or a large tipple at the end of each day :o

 

Peggy

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Hi Jacqui

I'm think I'm right in saying the 'recommended' (there isn't a definate) ratio is 2:26 for nursery classes attached to a school. It is a local government decision as to the actual ratio.

Good luck!

Jo

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The guidance supplied by the Standards site might help...

 

 

Q14: What is the ratio of staff to children in a Foundation Stage Unit, and do I have to have qualified teachers?

 

 

A14: 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.

 

 

Maintained nursery school

Children Act guidance, volume 2

2:20 (qualified teacher status + NNEB)

2:26 (where the headteacher does not teach)

 

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)

 

In Foundation Stage provision, teachers must be qualified, and although the regulations allow for 'instructors with special qualifications or experience' to be appointed if there are 'no suitable qualified teachers' (regulations are available from Her Majesty's Stationery Office), it must be noted that research (EPPE Project Technical Paper 8b, Institute of Education 27 March 2003) shows that a high proportion of trained teachers is linked to better quality and to better behavioural outcomes.

 

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.

 

http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primary/f...152575/#1156667

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The guidance supplied by the Standards site might help...

Q14: What is the ratio of staff to children in a Foundation Stage Unit, and do I have to have qualified teachers?

A14: 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.

Maintained nursery school

Children Act guidance, volume 2

2:20 (qualified teacher status + NNEB)

2:26 (where the headteacher does not teach)

 

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)

 

In Foundation Stage provision, teachers must be qualified, and although the regulations allow for 'instructors with special qualifications or experience' to be appointed if there are 'no suitable qualified teachers' (regulations are available from Her Majesty's Stationery Office), it must be noted that research (EPPE Project Technical Paper 8b, Institute of Education 27 March 2003) shows that a high proportion of trained teachers is linked to better quality and to better behavioural outcomes.

 

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.

 

http://www.standards.dfes.gov.uk/primary/f...152575/#1156667

37399[/snapback]

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Thankyou Peggy, Jo and Marion,

 

Yes Peggy a lie down and a tipple are always on the agenda!

 

My concerns are for health and safety and quality of care and provision for the children. I agree so strongly about the children having access to a responsive adult. However with the ratio I am having to work with energy levels and nerves are shattered by the end of the day.

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Thankyou Peggy, Jo and Marion,

 

Yes Peggy a lie down and a tipple are always on the agenda!

 

My concerns are for health and safety and quality of care and provision for the children. I agree so strongly about the children having access to a responsive adult. However with the ratio I am having to work with energy levels and nerves are shattered by the end of the day.

37410[/snapback]

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Thankyou for your replies this site is wonderful!!!

 

Need your help, in August I asked for your opinions on the misconceptions of play within the EY curriculum for a staff meeting I have to conduct. I would like to include in this staff meeting the misconceptions the 'powers that be' have on the staffing ratios of a foundation stage unit reception class. I informed you that I have 44 children, myself (the teacher) and 2 NNEB'S I was informed that in order to have more staff the number of pupils needed to rise to 46. I feel I am policing my pupils rather than offering them a broad and balanced curriculum filled with fun and denying them the support and encouragement a higher ration of staff would bring. What do you think? I am inviting Govenors of the school to this meeting as my team and I feel so strongly about the inefficiency of this adult to child ratio. It would be wonderful if I could quote fellow early years professionals' view points to add weight to this argument. :D

Edited by Guest
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Thankyou for your replies this site is wonderful!!!

 

Need your help, in August I asked for your opinions on the misconceptions of play within the EY curriculum for a staff meeting I have to conduct.  I would like to include in this staff meeting the misconceptions the 'powers that be' have on the staffing ratios of a foundation stage unit reception class.  I informed you that I have 44 children, myself (the teacher) and 2 NNEB'S  I was informed that in order to have more staff the number of pupils needed to rise to 46. I feel I am policing my pupils rather than offering them a broad and balanced curriculum filled with fun and denying them the support and encouragement  a higher ration of staff would bring. What do you think?

37585[/snapback]

 

I am working in a FSU and eventually the adult child ratio will rise to 63 children to 2 QTs plus 2 NNEBs so understand your concern.

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Hi

 

I am a NN in a DN, so may have little persuasive power here, but I am constantly gobsmacked by how few adults children in Nursery and Reception classes have to support them. Under the Daycare Standards, 3year olds need 1:4 and 4 - 8 year olds, 1:8. Your ratios seem appalling to me, how come it's so very different? OK, we have them from possibly 7.30 am till 6.30 pm, but our pre-schoolers are also in receipt of neg, what justification can there be for these different regulations? I don't shout too loud, in case they reduce our ratios!!!

 

In my own DN, the ratio for pre-school is more like 1:4, with an additional Trainee, but we have amazingly enlightened Directors. I have worked in a setting where they stuck rigidly to the 1:8 in pre-school, regardless of the actual age of some of the children!!!!! :o In practise, this meant that if you only had 8 children, you were on your own, mate, all day, never mind toilet breaks or children's 'accidents'! Didn't stay for long!!

 

Sorry if this is completely unhelpful xD:)

 

Sue :D

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Hi

 

I am a NN in a DN, so may have little persuasive power here, but I am constantly gobsmacked by how few adults children in Nursery and Reception classes have to support them. Under the Daycare Standards, 3year olds need 1:4 and 4 - 8 year olds, 1:8. Your ratios seem appalling to me, how come it's so very different? OK, we have them from possibly 7.30 am till 6.30 pm, but our pre-schoolers are also in receipt of neg, what justification can there be for these different regulations? I don't shout too loud, in case they reduce our ratios!!!

 

In my own DN, the ratio for pre-school is more like 1:4, with an additional Trainee, but we have amazingly enlightened Directors. I have worked in a setting where they stuck rigidly to the 1:8 in pre-school, regardless of the actual age of some of the children!!!!! :o In practise, this meant that if you only had 8 children, you were on your own, mate, all day, never mind toilet breaks or children's 'accidents'! Didn't stay for long!!

 

Sorry if this is completely unhelpful  xD  :)

 

Sue  :D

37588[/snapback]

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Just thought you might be interested, Our Yr1 class has no TAs just the teacher, during her PPA time our Headteacher is going to take the class. She took it for the first time last week and after the afternoon her comment was 'I think ... needs some help in this class'.

What can I say?!

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HI

I just had to say how I strongly agree with Sue on the ratios! I have been lying awake at night concerned about some of the four year olds who left my preschool in July (14 children per session and 2 or 3 members of staff) and are now in reception classes of up to 30 children with one teacher and a part time TA.

 

If the ratios are done on the age of the child why does it change according to the setting??? If it is deemed that 4yr olds should have 1 adult for every 8 children shouldn't that be the case whether it's pre-school or reception and am I right in thinking that if they are in a school nursery the ration is 1:13?? :o

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This would be correct Gerladine for most LEAs although some still have the ratio 10:1. WE find it a real struggle with 13:1 especially as we are 100% EAL and when they are just settling in although they do come in all through September and October.

 

tameside, it does seem that you should have an additional teacher, how many reception age childen do you have? Sadly this is one of the downfalls on the FSU in my experience, is that some Heads seem to think they can get away with less staff. If you had separate N/R classes, wouldnt you have 2 teachers?

 

Id love to know where your Head gets this figure of needing 46 children before you can get more staff?

 

I would certainly bring it up and keep on bringing it up at every opportunity. We have been fighting for full full time support in our reception classes (of 30) for years and so far we have progressed to full time morning support which is an improvement on previous years.

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Yes I strongly agree with you Sue and Geraldine. I have been very concerned about this ever since schools decided to take 4 year olds. We have a ratio of 1 adult to 5 children. On the ocassional times staff are on training courses and we have the correct ratios of 1-8. it makes so much difference. There is less time to tend to childrens emotional needs. I can't imagine that I would like to operate on a 1-13 ratio.!!!!!

Why are the ratios different?

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With such high child to adult ratios the child's needs are just not being met. The decisions are made purely on financial grounds. Easy access to a responsive adult is an essential means of reinforcing learning process in young children. Governing bodies need to be made aware of this as the final decision is theirs they need to ensure children's individual learning needs are met. (Thanku Marion for the standards info). The ratio for nursery is 1:13, last year we had 39 morning children 3 staff and the same in the afternoon. I am being quoted 1:15 in reception, at times giving these children what they need is an impossible task.

Thank you all for your comments this is obviously an national concern and we as early years professionals need to raise this concern whenever and wherever we can.

 

Jacqui x

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Politically speaking, wasn't one of Blairs Manifesto promises to "reduce" class sizes?

The introduction of FSU's has obviously "doubled" them. :oxD

 

I do hope your meeting with the Governers is successful, for two reasons.

1. The sake of the childrens quality of life.

2. The sake of the staff's' health. Having to work within this stressful situation will result in high staff turnover, which, if they are so concerned about "budgets" will NOT be cost effective for the school. ( recruitment costs etc)

 

Peggy

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I so agree with you Peggy it is all down to money at the end of the day. Which is really sad. Foundations need to be built wide not just up.

Thanks for all your comments I will be quoting and putting forward many of these at the staff meeting and hopefully the seed will be sown. We as early years practitioners must highlight these concerns at every available opportunity. :o

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I sympathise with your ratios - no matter how good you are, physically you cannot be and see everything that happens. I agree with your comments about health and safety. I think its unfair to put anyone in this situation and I think its also grossly unfair on the children. Like it or not we know that children can be quite unkind and one aspect of their learning is learning values. How often have I seen a group of three or four all playing together thinking that's really good play, only to move in much closer to observe and have been quite shocked as the play I had initially thought they were undertaking was not as I would have liked and they were quite clearly singling out a child although from a distance this was not apparent. It just seems to me that they are balancing their books in favour of other areas within the school. What about spending some time carrying out a risk assessment of your particular area - I do think you should make sure that your concerns are noted and supported with some paperwork - afterall if anything did happen and it seems to me that if it did it would probably be outside your control but probably not your liability!! Where will the buck stop I wonder. Apart from the safety aspects, there are also development issues too. Do you really feel you are giving your best to all the children in the group? I would imagine crowd control would be a major issue at times, I am not suggesting that you are imcompetent at all but with 44 individual characters, all probably with different abilities, agendas etc it may boil down to this at times unless you get them all herded into groups for most of the day - which is not the true essence of the foundation stage. Has your Head worked in the room for a day or so - perhaps you could invite him/her and ask her for opinion on ways in which you can improve as people often like to be asked for advice, perhaps then he/she may recognise the severity of your problem and may be more sympathetic to your plight for an additional member of staff. As Peggy said, it must be pretty stressful at times - so what happens when you are taken ill? Who is brought in then? Pretty tough order for someone to slot in with 44 children. The Head is probably well aware, or should be, of some of the issues surrounding adult:child ratios with the younger children. I recognise that they have a responsbility to manage their budgets, but they must also recognise the children's requirements more. Any chance of getting some help from one of the local colleges - trainees etc. Another extra pair of hands might prove useful.

Well, keep at it - I hear a glass of wine helps!!!!!!

Nikki

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Thanks Nikki, we have organised weekly meetings and all are logged and copies forwarded to all the senior management and govenors. I have 3 NVQ 3 students very competent and a God send. I have been promised more. However this does not make up for early years expertise because lets face it, this stage of a child's life is so taken for granted by some professionals.

Just today the acting deputy gave me my PPA time she spent 40 minutes in reception due to the children leaving early (its their settling in period') She said nothing but herwhole persona told a different story. The acting head has been wonderful today and is pulling out all the stops to help us. But you are all so right tankyou for your views and thoughts. Early years has moved on greatly over the last few years but not far enough. I have just read in the NUT magazine that in Wales, the foundation phase will create one phase of education for 3-7 year olds it prides itself that one of the strengths of the scheme is the high adult:child ratio, the emphasis is on the whole child. I think I'm moving to Wales...

 

Jacqui X

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