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Legal Requirements For Under Fives


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Does anyone know what the legal requirements are for children under five in a reception class, in terms of the number of adults needed. We have opened 2 small reception classes which will build to 2 full classes of 30 after xmas. We operate the 2 classrooms as a unit, and although the two rooms are joined, there is a partial dividing wall, meaning that if you are situated in one end, you cannot see most of the other classroom. At present we have 26 children (which will probably rise to 30).


I'm sure that previously, children under five had to have a teacher and a full time assistant and that it was a legal requirement, but can't find anything in print to back it up, does anyone know whether this is right.





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Sadly BB this is one of those areas I had hoped would be clarified with the new curriculum.

There is no 'legal' requiremenet other than classes shoud be less than 30 with one teacher. But manay schools even manage to go over this limit. There is no legislation saying you have to have a TA even if the children are under 5. We have only shared support with classes of 30 so 3 afternoons a week each class just has a teacher.


Once you size goes up to 2 classes of 30 then you should have 2 teachers (not i teacher and 2 TAs for example).


We all know good practice should give you a full time TA so its worth making some noise over (hasnt worked for us though!!)

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Your teaching union will fight this for you- class sizes and support are quite big areas!!!


Also in Reception any child who is 4 is privy to a ratio- 1:15


my head tells me there is a legal ratio which is 1;15. Of course i won't tell hm if he has misunderstood- i should ahte to loose it!

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The ratio of adult to child in reception unfortunately is 1-30 even if the children are under 5 and it is up to the head teachers discretion as to whether they employ a TA.


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)

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