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

(to should include a full postal address.

Letters may be cut

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar,, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today