Pilot scheme for nurseries 'will reduce time children spend with teacher'

NURSERY nurses are to be given more responsibility in a new pilot scheme being introduced in the Capital.

The city council is to create a new role of "senior nursery nurse" in four city nurseries in time for the start of the next term in August. Under the scheme, nurseries with more than 40 pupils in a session would be allocated a senior nursery nurse to support the teacher, instead of additional fully-qualified teaching support.

If the scheme is successful, it could be rolled out across every council-run nursery in Edinburgh in a move that would save up to 113,000.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

But the move has sparked criticism from opposition councillors and trade unions, who fear it will lead to a deterioration in the amount of time children in nurseries spend with fully-qualified teaching staff.

Councillor Ricky Henderson, education spokesman for the Labour group on the city council, said: "The difficulty is that, no matter what they do, there will be a reduction in the contact time between teachers and children."

City education leader Cllr Marilyne MacLaren said: "This pilot will give greater recognition of the nursery nurse role by putting in place a career structure where there wasn't one before."