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New Independent Report Confirms Value of Teachers in Nurseries

Friday, 12 February 2016

A survey report on the contribution of registered teachers in the early years sector has highlighted the significant value that teachers deliver to nursery schools and classes.

Nursery educationThe survey, which was commissioned by the EIS and conducted independently by the Child's Curriculum Group, confirms the value of maintaining a registered teacher workforce in pre-school settings.

The report acknowledges the Scottish Government's intention to tackle child poverty in Scotland and narrow the gap that disadvantage brings to educational outcomes.

At the same time as increasing free entitlement to early learning and childcare (with the aim of this rising to 1,140 hours per year by 2020), there has been, over the last 10 years in Scotland, a 29% reduction in the numbers of GTCS-registered teachers employed in such services.

This is contrasted with a 4% drop in child numbers, which gives a ratio of 1 teacher to 84 children at this important stage.

Commenting, the Convener of the EIS Education Committee, Susan Quinn, said, "This new independent report confirms the importance of maintaining a registered teacher workforce in all pre-school settings.

"It highlights the added value that specialist early years teachers provide in nursery establishments, while also questioning the varying commitment by councils across Scotland to the deployment of teachers in nurseries.

"The report also highlights the ambiguous interpretations of 'teacher Early years educationpresence' and 'access to a teacher', which is particularly important in light of the planned expansion of the early learning and childcare entitlement to 1140 hours by 2020."

Ms Quinn added, "Scotland's Curriculum for Excellence offers an enhanced learning experience for young people of all ages, supported by a seamless curricular model from age 3 to age 18.

"This means that it is even more important for an appropriate level of teacher involvement in all nursery settings. The clear message is that early exposure to a quality educational experience in the nursery setting brings a whole host of benefits to young children.

"The findings also support the belief that employing the skills and leadership of qualified teachers remains the best way to ensure a quality educational experience in all nursery settings."

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Page Last Updated: 11 February 2016