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The cost of cutting out the quality

I have just come back from holiday in Europe to read with great concern Clare Dean's report "Cash flows for GM nurseries" (TES, August 11) that Holy Trinity GM School is to open a nursery class at Pounds 10,000 a year less than the LEA estimate of Pounds 45,000. The money can only be saved from cutting costs such as requirements for staff qualifications and staff:pupil ratios. Is this what parents really want? Is this what we are making available?

Requirements for good quality nursery education are: a teacher with specialised knowledge of nursery education in charge of every class and a staffpupil ratio of not more than 1:13. A 39-place nursery needs one teacher and two nursery-nurses. At the current prices the salary costs alone (with on-costs) will be at least Pounds 42,000. The recommended allocation of resourcing for equipment and materials is at least Pounds 100 per child per year.

This raises the costs to Holy Trinity to Pounds 46,000. That does not include water, electricity, cleaning costs, but I assume these will be incorporated into the general running costs of the school.

I would dearly like to know how Holy Trinity is going to run its nursery class on Pounds 35,000 per year.

VALERIE KOTZEN

Headteacher Curzon Crescent Nursery School Curzon Crescent London NW10

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