Is there a pre-five quality gap?

12th September 2003 at 01:00
Research findings (page one) which conclude that local authority nurseries with trained teachers provide the highest quality of pre-school provision are, not unexpectedly, viewed differently in different quarters.

Patricia McGinty, spokeswoman for the Scottish Independent Nurseries Association, said the research showed that private nurseries did well on children's emotional and social development.

"I think the study is making unfair comparisons because the private sector is not just delivering two-and-a-half-hour classes in pre-school education.

We are providing full day care and education for children," Mrs McGinty said.

"Also, local authorities have been doing it so much longer and had the benefit of fully trained staff and teachers. We have done remarkably well in catching up and providing added services for the whole family."

Norma Watson, head of Kirkhill nursery in West Lothian and spokeswoman for the Educational Institute of Scotland, said the findings did not come as a surprise. "It's absolutely crucial you have a trained teacher as head, leading the team. We are highly trained and there is regular access to staff development," she said.

At the Scottish Pre-school Play Association, chief executive Ian McLaughlan acknowledged parent perceptions of a higher quality "education" in nurseries.

"However, there are play leaders in the voluntary sector who draw on many years of experience and are most competent in delivering the same 3-5 curriculum as their colleagues who are teacher trained. Our member groups can also boast of offering lower staff:child ratios."

Subscribe to get access to the content on this page.

If you are already a Tes/ Tes Scotland subscriber please log in with your username or email address to get full access to our back issues, CPD library and membership plus page.

Not a subscriber? Find out more about our subscription offers.
Subscribe now
Existing subscriber?
Enter subscription number


The guide by your side – ensuring you are always up to date with the latest in education.

Get Tes magazine online and delivered to your door. Stay up to date with the latest research, teacher innovation and insight, plus classroom tips and techniques with a Tes magazine subscription.
With a Tes magazine subscription you get exclusive access to our CPD library. Including our New Teachers’ special for NQTS, Ed Tech, How to Get a Job, Trip Planner, Ed Biz Special and all Tes back issues.

Subscribe now