[Skip to content]

NAHT - For Leaders, For Learners
Search our Site

Early Years - FAQs

Commonly asked questions on issues surrounding Early Years provision and suggested answers.

 

What are the Specific Legal Requirements for Early Learning and Care for Children aged from Birth to Five?

Premises and Equipment

Toilet Facilities

What are the staffing requirements for the Early Years Foundation Stage?

 

During the School Day, What is the Teacher / Pupil Ratio in Maintained Schools?

Nursery pupils aged three years and over?

Reception (4-5 yrs) / KS1 pupils (5-7 yrs)

Classes with a mixed age range of 3-5 yrs or 4-6 yrs

KS2 pupils (7-11 yrs)

Do schools have to employ a qualified teacher to run a Reception Class?

 

What is the adult / pupil ratio outside of the school day (i.e.: for breakfast / after school clubs)?

 

In a maintained setting, can one teacher run 2 classes of nursery pupils in two classrooms with an adjoining door and teaching assistants in both classes?

 

In a private, independent or voluntary (PVI) setting, can one teacher run two classes of nursery pupils in two classrooms with an adjoining door and teaching assistants in both classes?

 

Does a qualified teacher have to be employed to cover a nursery class, when the class teacher is not available?

 

Can an existing unqualified teacher in a nursery class be employed as a teacher?

 

Is Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) equivalent to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?  

 

Can staff who hold only EYPS be employed to take responsibility for a class of pupils?

 

 

What are the Specific Legal Requirements for Early Learning and Care for Children aged from Birth to Five?

See the Statutory Framework for the EYFS: Specific Legal Requirements 2008

 

Premises and Equipment

 

The premises and equipment must be organised in a way that meets the needs of children.

In registered provision the following space requirements must be met:

 

  • children under two years:  3.5m2 per child 
  • two year olds:  2.5 m2 per child 
  • three to five years: 2.3m2 per child
  • the provider must ensure that, so far as is reasonable, access to the facilities, equipment and the premises are suitable for children with disabilities.
  • the premises must be for the sole use of the provision during the hours of operation.

  • wherever possible, there should be access to an outdoor play area.

 

Toilet Facilities  

 

There should be at leastone toilet and one hand basin for every ten children over the age of two.

 

Although toilets do not have to be separate at KS1 they do have to be separate at KS2.

 

Urinals should be provided for boys in KS2.

back to top

 

What Are The Staffing Requirements for the Early Years Foundation Stage?

The requirements are as follows:

 

  • two adults are on duty in a setting at any time when children are present

  • at least one person who has a current paediatric first aid certificate must be on the premises at all times when children are present. 

 

back to top  

 

During the School Day, What is the Teacher / Pupil Ratio in Maintained Schools?

Nursery pupils aged three years and over?

1 teacher plus one teaching assistant (holding the full and relevant NVQ level

3 qualification).

 

Reception (4 – 5 years) / KS 1 Pupils (5 – 7 years)?

Classes from Reception through to Year 2 are subject to infant class size legislation of 30 pupils per school teacher.

 

Classes with a mixed age-range of 3 to 5 years or 4 to 6 years?

Schools may use their discretion in establishing ratios for mixed groups based on the EYFS requirements of ratios for nursery and reception pupils.  The provider should consider at all times whether there is adequate supervision of children and ensure that the needs of the individual children being cared for are met.

  

KS 2 Pupils (7 – 11 yrs)?

There are no regulations regarding pupil numbers in KS2 classes.  

 

back to top

Do schools have to employ a qualified teacher to run a Reception Class?

It is a legal requirement that maintained schools employ a qualified teacher to have responsibility for a Reception Class.

 

back to top

 

What is the adult / pupil ratio outside of the school day (i.e.: for breakfast / after school clubs)?

 

  • for nursery / reception pupils : a ratio of 1 : 8 with one member of staff holding level 3 (as defined by CWDC).  There must be at least two adults on duty in a setting at any time when children are present. If there are any statemented pupils in the class, provision must be made for those pupils.

  • For KS 1 pupils : at the school’s discretion
  • For KS 2 pupils : at the school’s discretion

 

back to top 

 

In a maintained setting, can one teacher run 2 classes of nursery pupils in two classrooms with an adjoining door and teaching assistants in both classes?

No.  During the school day there should be a teacher in each class.  There should be two members of staff in the classroom, one of whom should meet the following conditions:

 

  • S/he must be assisting or supporting the work of a teacher

 

  • S/he must be subject to the direction and supervision of a qualified teacher in accordance with arrangements made by the head teacher

 

  • The head teacher must be satisfied that they have the skills, expertise and experience necessary and must hold a full and relevant NVQ Level 3.

 

The above Conditions set out in the Regulations made under Section 133 of the Education Act 2002 must be met by support staff carrying out ‘specified work’.

 

back to top

 

In a private, independent or voluntary (PVI) setting, can one teacher run two classes of nursery pupils in two classrooms with an adjoining door and teaching assistants in both classes?

Yes.  The teacher must oversee all the staff with regard to the planning, learning and recording required and the pupil-to-adult ratios must be in place.  In addition to the teacher, one member of staff must hold a NVQ Level 3 and at least half of all other staff must hold a full and relevant NVQ Level 2.

 

back to top

 

Does a qualified teacher have to be employed to cover a nursery class, when the class teacher is not available under the following conditions:

  • having non-contact (PPA) time out of class?
  • for ½ a day every week to cover PPA?
  • on odd occasions to cover sickness?

 

Yes in a maintained setting but not in private, independent or voluntary (PVI) provision.

 

back to top

 

Can an existing unqualified teacher in a nursery class be employed as a teacher?

An existing assistant teacher at a nursery school or a teacher of a nursery class who was employed as a teacher immediately before 1st Sept 1989 may carry out work in the same capacity as s/he was employed before 1st Sept 1989.

 

back to top

 

Is Early Years Professional Status (EYPS) equivalent to Qualified Teacher Status (QTS)?  

 

The Early Years Professional Status is not equivalent to Qualified Teacher Status.

 

back to top

 

Can staff who hold only EYPS be employed to take responsibility for a class of pupils?

Staff who only hold EYPS cannot be employed to take responsibility for a class of pupils.

 

 

Page Published: 12/07/2011