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Apprentices in Ratio


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Not sure if this info is of interest to anyone - it was an issue that came up at our LA Early Years Business meeting recently regarding counting Apprentices in the ratio. It wasn't relevant to me but there were many settings who were unclear. Our LADO contacted Dfe for clarification and has now forwarded this to all settings. 


"Dear DSL’s,  

At the Early Years Business Meeting and DSL Network I advised of some new guidance from the Department for Education (DfE) about apprentices working in the Early Years sector.

There was a lot of confusion about this and I agreed to clarify the information with the DfE and Ofsted, and I now have a definitive response for you. 

An apprentice can be counted in the ratios as;

  • An unqualified member of staff if they don’t have a full and relevant qualification providing they are competent and responsible.  
  • In the level 2 staff ratios if they have achieved a full and relevant level 2 qualification (this may be the case for apprentices who are undertaking a level 3 apprenticeship) or 
  • In the level 3 staff ratios when they have achieved their full and relevant qualification and level 2 English and Maths.

Please also note EYFS  3.25 regarding newly qualified entrants requiring PFA certificate within three months of starting work

What this means from a staffing point of view is if you have an apprentice working towards either level 2 or 3 and they have no other qualification then they have to be classed as an unqualified staff member.

The EYFS 3:23 states that ‘half of the staff must hold at least a full and relevant level 2 qualification’

Many of you operate above the 50% qualified staffing requirement so you won’t need to take any further action.

For those of you who do operate with 50% qualified and unqualified staffing, I suggest you review your workforce to ensure you are complaint with the EYFS and the DfE guidance if you do employee apprentices.  

Both the EYFS and guidance from the DfE need to be adhered to. 

The info from the DfE can be located at www.gov.uk/guidance/children-and-young-peoples-workforce-apprenticeships

I trust that this clarifies things for you.

This e mail is also being sent out by Early Years to all of their setting contacts so you may receive this twice" 


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