Report Questions Skills of Nursery Teachers in UK

May 9, 2012

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. nursery (n.) 
 [nur-suh-ree] – a place where very young children go to learn and play
Example: My five-year-old son learned how to read in nursery school.

2. competent (adj.) [kom-pi-tuhnt] – skilled or knowledgeable about something
Example: Schools need teachers who are competent in using the computer.

3. doubt (n.) [dout] – feeling that one cannot believe or trust in something
Example: Unprepared teachers have doubts about their skills.

4. qualification (n.) [kwol-uh-fi-key-shuhn] – a special skill or knowledge required in a certain job
Example: Teachers must meet qualifications before they can teach.

5. recommendation (n.) [rek-uh-men-dey-shuhn, -muhn-] – a suggestion on the best course of action
Example:  According to the government recommendation, teachers should be trained to improve student performance.

Read the text below.

A report published by the UK’s Department of Education shows that many nursery staff and child care providers are hired even though they are not competent in mathematics and reading.

Professor Cathy Nutbrown, who conducted the research for the government, expresses doubt whether a year of training courses is enough time for people to understand child development. She even cites one academic who said more qualifications are asked of those taking care of animals than of those taking care of babies.

According to Nutbrown’s report, nursery staff and care providers need to take learning courses that will help them develop the right skills and personal qualities. Nutbrown believes people with these qualifications will give the best care to children.

Anne Longfield, CEO of the charity group 4Children, also suggests raising job qualifications. She says math and reading skills of nursery staff can lead to different learning experiences for children. As an example, she says, a person who can read aloud to children with confidence and energy is much more effective than someone who cannot even read properly.

Pearson, a company that offers training to child care students, agrees with Nutbrown’s review. It believes the quality of care that young children receive can greatly affect their future. The company recently started offering new learning courses that hope to raise standards in child care.

Meanwhile, Children’s Minister Sarah Teather says she appreciates the study and welcomes further recommendations from Professor Nutbrown. Teather says the early stages of children’s development are very important, so those who care for children must possess the proper skills and training.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         How important is it for employees to have the right qualifications?
·         Do you think there should be strict qualifications for child care providers? Please explain your answer

Discussion B

·         What are some of the things you learn from childhood that helped you grow as a person?
Can you cite some important lessons young children can learn from their teachers?


May 9, 2012