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Staff - Pupil Ratio for Early Years & FS

(October 2007) Some local authorities involved in the higher level teaching assistant (HLTA) programme have raised concerns regarding the EYFS proposals on staff to pupil ratios. Who those staff should be, particularly in terms of staffing planning, preparation and assessment (PPA) time (when HLTAs might be used), is an issue.

We have received the following clarification from the Department for Children, Schools and Families (DCSF) about this issue.

The early years foundation stage (EYFS) requires that, in nursery classes in maintained schools and maintained nursery schools:

there is at least one member of staff for every 13 children
at least one member of staff is a teacher, and
at least one other member of staff is qualified to level 3.
The DCSF is aware that it is necessary to provide further clarification on what should happen at times when the teacher is out of the classroom. Some people have been concerned that the EYFS will require a teacher to be present at all times, meaning that HLTAs and other support staff will not be able to lead the class during PPA time as they currently do. However, this is not the intention. Nor is it the intention to change the way in which schools currently manage PPA time or to supersede the Section 133 regulations and guidance. The DCSF can understand why the current drafting of the EYFS has given rise to these concerns and are currently considering the revisions that will need to be made.

We hope this clarifies the issue for those concerned - From HTLA Matters (October 2007)


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