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Nursery nurses seek new title

Nursery nurses face a name change if a campaign to raise their status and pay is successful.

A group of nursery nurses in south London has proposed the title of "early-years specialist". The group, which is supported by two major unions - Unison and the GMB - has also drawn up a new job description.

Mary Callard of the Southwark Nursery Nurses support group says they want a "more accurate and contemporary title". "Nursery nurse" does not reflect "the duties we, a highly professional group of workers, undertake in early-years education."

The campaign, launched earlier this year, arose out of "general unrest" among nursery nurses who work in Southwark schools, says Mrs Callard. They feel under-valued and say they do much more than is reflected in their job descriptions.

Mrs Callard, a nursery nurse at Bessemer Grange primary, says her work involves baseline assessment, record-keeping, and pupil observation. She has worked at the school for 13 years and earns Pounds 13,400 - the top of the scale.

The proposals go to Southwark education committee this month.

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