Nursery nurses are not maids

28th January 2000 at 00:00
AS AN experienced nursery nurse in a state primary school I was horrified at the article "I'm the NQT, who are you?" in First Appointments (TES, January 14).

The article was incredibly offensive implying that a nursery nurse was there to: "Tie shoe laces, keep the children in the classroom" and even more ludicrous "the nursery nurse is at the beck and call of the entire school to deal with injuries and illness and hosing down kiddie diarrhoea".

The final straw was when I read "There's no accountability or lessons to prepare". I can't believe that any nursery nurse would recognise their job.

I am a partner in my nursery, I assist with plans and preparation, share all practical nursery activities with the tacher with whom I work ie whole-group sessions small-group activities, outdoor play etc. Within school hours my practical role is almost identical to that of a teacher. I am responsible for half of the nursery records and for sharing these records and discussing children's progress with the parents at open evenings.

As for dealing with situations as they arise, whichever member of staff, be it teacher or nursery nurse, who happens to be near a child with "a fully-blown temper tantrum" will deal with it. I could go on and on.

Alison Bell

55 Westbourne Grove

Hessle, East Yorkshire Letters sent via email

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