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Strain on nursery staffing guidelines

One in four nursery classes breaks Department for Education and Employment guidelines on adult:child ratios, a survey by the National Union of Teachers has found. The NUT says most teachers in nursery schools and primary school nursery classes are highly qualified but face a huge workload as they struggle to meet Government requirements to assess pupils, write reports and communicate with parents.

DFEE guidelines set a ratio of two staff, including a qualified teacher, to 26 children. But the survey found the ratio was higher in a quarter of classes. Most children attended part-time, so most teachers took at least two classes. One in seven had between 55 and 85 children on their register and one in 40 had more than 100.

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