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hi hope someone can help I am wanting to know the legal ratio of adult to children in an early years unit.

I know the reccomended is 1-15, but dont know the legal position.

Have spoke to our head as after xmas there might be 69 children 45 rec, 24 nursery each session, and only 4 staff . two teachers and two nursery nurses.

when i spoke to the head he said its ok you can have 30 reception to one teacher. He wasnt happy when i said this is not a reception class its a early years unit and children have free access to an outdoor area which they wouldnt have in a reception class.

any advice would be appreciated

thanks :D

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There isnt a legal ratio only a recommendation of the 1-13 the same as a nursery. technically a head could go with the 1-30 for reception and the 1-13 for nursery sorry

 

 

Foundation Stage Units

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

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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

Edited by Marion
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I think I would try and argue that 45 reception children requirers 2 teachers and 24 nursery requires 1 teacher. Therefore I think you should have 3 teachers, a minimum of 1 TA, preferably 2.

 

Its one of te problems of running a unti I found, was that some heads seem to think you can get away with less staff than you would have if you were separte.

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With children aged 3/4 the recommended minimum is 1:13. 1:15 is generally accepted as a minimum for reception. That would make your safe numbers 26 nursery age and 30 reception.

I believe there are no current legal limits merely recommendations but your head is really taking a risk if they ignore those minimums.

They should consult with your LA early years team. I would have thought you would need a minimum of one more member of staff to be safe offering free flow provision outside. To give a good ratio an additional two members. These could be assistants rather than nursery officers.

 

 

The Early Years Foundation Stage is proposing to state strict ratios and 1:13 will only apply when a qualified teacher is present and working with the children. Otherwise it falls to 1:10 in maintained schools. These will be legally required numbers. Have they thought about breaks/lunchtimes?

 

If they think an FS unit is a cheap option they should think again. What is being proposed would make quality experiences for the children most unlikely.

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Its one of the things that was raised with the new EYFS that the ratios had not been increased to meet the needs of the children hopefully the revised document will take this into account.

Legally with 45 reception age children you need 2 adults (only 1 needs to be a QT)and with 24 nursery children again 2 adults so you meet that ratio we all know its not right but its up to individual schools. (some units are running with no teachers for the nursery aged children so have 1 teacher and 3 TAs)

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thanks for all your replys.

i agree that some heads try to get away with less staff in e y units but when one of the teachers regulary leaves the unit to do mamagement duties we are running understaffed and i worry of the implications of any accidents etc.

at the minute we are sometimes left with one teacher nqt and one n n for 24 nursery and 19 reception :o .

hopefully we will get it all sorted

thanks again :D

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thanks for all your replys.

i agree that some heads try to get away with less staff in e y units but when one of the teachers regulary leaves the unit to do mamagement duties we are running understaffed and i worry of the implications of any accidents etc.

at the minute we are sometimes left with one teacher nqt and one n n for 24 nursery and 19 reception :o .

hopefully we will get it all sorted

thanks again :D

[/quote

 

 

I don't know about ratio's but your comment about non contact time is an issue your head should take into consideration, as you have highlighted. I would think that the head should also take into consideration that yes, she/he has a budget to juggle but 1/ as previously mentioned there is a question of childrens best interests and 2/ if staff are over stretched they will become exhausted, possibly more prone to illness and absence, thus compromising the quality of consistent care and education for the children ( supply staff) and compromising the general health and well being of the staff.

I hope your concerns are listened to and you do get more staff.

 

Peggy

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