We're not receptionists

13th July 2001 at 01:00
I would like to take issue with Olwen Gunn's comparison of nursery nurses with doctors' receptionists ("Danger of unqualified success", TES, June 15). I think the analogy is totally incorrect and that comparison with a practice nurse is a more accurate description. There are many instances when patient care delivered by an experienced nurse is preferable to that delivered by a doctor.

In the primary-school sector where I work, a high proportion of the teaching staff have little or no training in early years. Nursery Nurse Exam Board training is two years, dealing specifically with the well-being and education of children up to the age of seven. Mature, experienced NNEBs selected for their enthusiasm, joie de vivre, commitment and basic education can deliver effective teaching to early-years children under the guidance of a trained teacher.

Rather than dismissing us as receptionists, the education system would benefit greatly from recognising the talents available within it through developing effective, on-the-job training.

Jean Deacy 30 Sweetpool Lane Hagley, West Midlands

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