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Date 23 April 2007

Nursery Nurses welcome expansion challenge

UNISON Scotland today welcomed calls for an expansion in early years education using the skills of all staff in the sector. The union which represents Scotland's nursery nurses praised current plans to improve career paths in early years education following a lengthy Scottish Executive Review.

But UNISON disagrees with the Educational Institute of Scotland over its insistence that only trained teachers can provide education in nursery schools and other early years settings.

Pat Rowland, UNISON Scotland Treasurer and head of an early years establishment, said: "We work closely with nursery teachers and respect the work they do. However, the EIS is well aware that the Review has led to plans for all early years facilities to be led by someone qualified to degree level or work-based equivalent.

"We welcome this opportunity for nursery nurses and other early years workers to be able to develop their careers. Not every early years setting is led by a teacher. The Scottish Executive has said it expects more non-teaching staff to manage centres in future as the new early years professional role is developed."

The EIS criticised the Labour Party's 'Sunshine Agenda' because the teachers' union says there are not enough nursery teachers for a major expansion in the sector. But UNISON Scotland welcomes the commitment from Labour that values the work of our members in the early years sector. Pat added: "Our members are ready for the challenge."


For Further Information Please Contact: Pat Rowland: (Scottish Treasurer and early years worker) 07885 469680 Dave Watson (Scottish Organiser) 0845 355 0845 (w) 07958 122 409 (m) Chris Bartter (Communications Officer) 0845 355 0845(w) 0771 558 3729(m)