Who is responsible for a child’s education? Watch

Poll: Who is responsible for a child’s education, parents or the nursery?
Parents/Guardians (8)
72.73%
Nursery (3)
27.27%
University of Hertfordshire
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This week we are holding a debate on the topic...

Who is responsible for a child’s education, parents/guardians or nursery?

We'd love for you to get involved! One of our Early Childhood Education Lecturers, Nancy, will be on-hand during the week to take part in the debate.


Nancy Small

I am Nancy Small, a lecturer and the admissions tutor for BA Early Childhood Education. I have been at UH for 2 years. Prior to that I taught in Further Education for many years and was an Early Years practitioner for 22 years before that. My particular areas of interest are Safeguarding, Developmental Psychology and Special Educational Needs and Disability. My own research interest is the graduate workforce in the early years.
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999tigger
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(Original post by University of Hertfordshire)
This week we are holding a debate on the topic...

Who is responsible for a child’s education, parents/guardians or nursery?

We'd love for you to get involved! One of our Early Childhood Education Lecturers, Nancy, will be on-hand during the week to take part in the debate.


Nancy Small

I am Nancy Small, a lecturer and the admissions tutor for BA Early Childhood Education. I have been at UH for 2 years. Prior to that I taught in Further Education for many years and was an Early Years practitioner for 22 years before that. My particular areas of interest are Safeguarding, Developmental Psychology and Special Educational Needs and Disability. My own research interest is the graduate workforce in the early years.
Why not both?

Parents have a duty to oversee the development of the child day to day well being, guidance etc. They can choose the school.

School has the duty to provide a service- In this case to educate the child according to its needs in order to teach and develop it to certain standards.

The roles are different, but complementary.

The interesting point comes at the overlap and conflict. How far does a parents duty extend to teaching the child or developing it further in matters of learning?
What happens if th school is poor, then should the parent make up for the lack of education or ineffectiveness of schooling?

The same questions arise for how far should the school be responsible for parenting a child when parents dont care> the child isnt getting enough nutrition, sleeping, behaviour is poor, not doing homework, has a disruptive home life, has poor social skills?

Imo the school is responsible for a childs safebeing and education whilst in school
. If it falls short of that, then questions should be asked of the school. From time to time the school may look further afield i.e home life, but I think they would prefer just to teach.

The parents are responsible for everything else and that includes delivering a child which has enough social skills to respect others, has had sleep and nutrition and enough manners to attend school and be a non disruptive element. If the child isnt able to meet these minimum standards, then it may need to be investigated further, but am sure schools would rather not have to be social workers.

A healthy relationship is where both sides recognised their responsibilities and reinforced each other to achieve the education of the child.
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DubDub2017
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Depends what you mean by 'Education', I mean, if we're talking nursery, you mean like teaching them colours (red, blue, yellow), or like teaching them certain behaviours

Personally, I think Nursery is better in either case

For one, the child is exposed to multiple adults, rather than just their parents, which means they can pick up behaviours from many different people. The good thing about this is that their carers at nursery will be a lot more inpersonal and hence will give the child an idea of how you should act in a group of people, rather than at home where they'd see the full extent of their parents behaviours and attitude.

Also, the child will likely be around more children, which means they'll be able to be social with people just like them, hopefully picking up some key social skills that they otherwise wouldn't with just their parents.

Additionally, it means they're not exposed to a completely one sided point of view from their parents. They'll be able to see different behaviours of different people, and not just their parents. Perhaps this will let them learn more from the world.

So, while gaining social skills, they'll also be learning things, such as the English language, identifying shapes and colours and people. A load of cognitive skills that are essential. In a nursery, you'll usually find the people who work there are qualified to teach, and have done some sort of course in child development and properly teaching them. Of course, parents can take these courses to, however how many do is the question.

With expertise in teaching children, it's therefore better to allow the trained people to teach your child these skills. Additionally, they'll be in the correct environment for it, surrounded by peers who are going through the same process. Funnily enough, it's a child friendly place and they have the resources to support the child, where as parents may not.

This is not to say that parents should be completely replaced, I think they're essential to a child's growth and as such should be the main force in a child's development, however I feel that a Nursery does the job so much better. But that's just my opinion, I believe a well educated (in child development) parent can do a much better job than any nursery, but on average, there are few parents like that.
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nancysmall
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(Original post by DubDub2017)
Depends what you mean by 'Education', I mean, if we're talking nursery, you mean like teaching them colours (red, blue, yellow), or like teaching them certain behaviours

Personally, I think Nursery is better in either case

For one, the child is exposed to multiple adults, rather than just their parents, which means they can pick up behaviours from many different people. The good thing about this is that their carers at nursery will be a lot more inpersonal and hence will give the child an idea of how you should act in a group of people, rather than at home where they'd see the full extent of their parents behaviours and attitude.

Also, the child will likely be around more children, which means they'll be able to be social with people just like them, hopefully picking up some key social skills that they otherwise wouldn't with just their parents.

Additionally, it means they're not exposed to a completely one sided point of view from their parents. They'll be able to see different behaviours of different people, and not just their parents. Perhaps this will let them learn more from the world.

So, while gaining social skills, they'll also be learning things, such as the English language, identifying shapes and colours and people. A load of cognitive skills that are essential. In a nursery, you'll usually find the people who work there are qualified to teach, and have done some sort of course in child development and properly teaching them. Of course, parents can take these courses to, however how many do is the question.

With expertise in teaching children, it's therefore better to allow the trained people to teach your child these skills. Additionally, they'll be in the correct environment for it, surrounded by peers who are going through the same process. Funnily enough, it's a child friendly place and they have the resources to support the child, where as parents may not.

This is not to say that parents should be completely replaced, I think they're essential to a child's growth and as such should be the main force in a child's development, however I feel that a Nursery does the job so much better. But that's just my opinion, I believe a well educated (in child development) parent can do a much better job than any nursery, but on average, there are few parents like that.
Thanks for your thoughtful response DubDub2017. There are many
benefits for children who attend some kind of nursery provision. For some children, it may afford them opportunities that are not available in the home environment. In the Uk, staff are qualified to a minimum of
level 3 which does give a very strong background in child development. We are moving steadily towards having a far greater number of staff who are graduates to bring us in line with Europe and other international communities. The type of parenting, which you outline in your response is of course key but in general I feel working with parents in collaboration is best practice. We need to think about what we define as 'educated parents'.
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Claire461
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#5
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Having brought up 7 children, I wonder how we ever managed without nurseries and Level 3 qualifications.
It is the responsibility of parents to ensure a child receives an education suitable to their age, aptitude and ability or any special needs they may have.
Contrary to public opinion, that responsibility does not lie with the government.
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nancysmall
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(Original post by 999tigger)
Why not both?

Parents have a duty to oversee the development of the child day to day well being, guidance etc. They can choose the school.

School has the duty to provide a service- In this case to educate the child according to its needs in order to teach and develop it to certain standards.

The roles are different, but complementary.

The interesting point comes at the overlap and conflict. How far does a parents duty extend to teaching the child or developing it further in matters of learning?
What happens if th school is poor, then should the parent make up for the lack of education or ineffectiveness of schooling?

The same questions arise for how far should the school be responsible for parenting a child when parents dont care> the child isnt getting enough nutrition, sleeping, behaviour is poor, not doing homework, has a disruptive home life, has poor social skills?

Imo the school is responsible for a childs safebeing and education whilst in school
. If it falls short of that, then questions should be asked of the school. From time to time the school may look further afield i.e home life, but I think they would prefer just to teach.

The parents are responsible for everything else and that includes delivering a child which has enough social skills to respect others, has had sleep and nutrition and enough manners to attend school and be a non disruptive element. If the child isnt able to meet these minimum standards, then it may need to be investigated further, but am sure schools would rather not have to be social workers.

A healthy relationship is where both sides recognised their responsibilities and reinforced each other to achieve the education of the child.
999tigger , you have raised some really interesting points. I agree with your final statement that the best way forward is a healthy working relationship is best. However, the reality is not always that straightforward as you highlight. The Children's Act 1989 makes it clear what responsibilities parents/ carers have but not all adults are in a position to meet the needs of the child. Schools and nurseries in collaboration with children's services often pick up the short fall. The introduction of free school meals in year 1 and 2 is there to meet the basic needs of young children. The cross over of care and education is an interesting one. I am always interested that when schools go on strike ( which is very rare) that some parents are very concerned that they have lost their childcare that allows them to work. This is a very real concern for working parents but begs the question, what is education for?
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nancysmall
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(Original post by Seamus123)
Having brought up 7 children, I wonder how we ever managed without nurseries and Level 3 qualifications.
It is the responsibility of parents to ensure a child receives an education suitable to their age, aptitude and ability or any special needs they may have.
Contrary to public opinion, that responsibility does not lie with the government.
Goodness, @Seamus123; seven children! Lovely to hear that you appreciated the nursery staff but I fully agree parents do have a responsibility. , Parents are the experts on their own children and nurseries and schools must always work with them. However, at times parents need the support of others. The idea that government has responsibility is an interesting one.
There are plenty of examples of a 'nanny state'.
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Claire461
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(Original post by nancysmall)
Goodness, @Seamus123; seven children! Lovely to hear that you appreciated the nursery staff but I fully agree parents do have a responsibility. , Parents are the experts on their own children and nurseries and schools must always work with them. However, at times parents need the support of others. The idea that government has responsibility is an interesting one.
There are plenty of examples of a 'nanny state'.
My children didn’t go to nurseries. I had no use for them, but I appreciate that in this day and age, there is a call for them, especially when both parents have to work.
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Thank you to everyone that's got involved in the debate so far! Keep your comments coming, we'd love to hear them
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ThomH97
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Both of them are, but more so the parents. If the nursery doesn't play its part, then the parents can pick up the slack, but even the best nursery can't replace the parents if they're not encouraging their kids.

Later on in life this shifts more and more to schools and the child themself, but at nursery age it's primarily the parents.
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