3 year-olds started school in England this week

charlie and lolaDue to the outrageous situation that exists in England’s schools (i.e. children forced to start school prior to compulsory school age, against their parents’ wishes), and the strictly imposed chronological batch cut off for each year group, in schools that opened their doors for the autumn term this week, summer born children aged just 3 years-old were entering Reception class for the first time.

Why? Because the cut off date is today, August 31st, but some school terms begin earlier than this.

And even if your child is born at 10pm on August 31st (as happened to one of our campaign group’s parents five years ago), your school and/or council can effectively force your child to start school a whole year earlier than compulsory school age, and the Department for Education will simply say ‘decisions are best made at a local level‘.

Mmmm… Are they always? Really?

This abdication of responsibility by the DfE for what’s in the best interests of some of the youngest and most vulnerable children in our education system (bearing in mind that the least affluent and educated parents will be able to exercise ‘choices’ such as private school alternatives or possibly home schooling) is quite possibly one of the longest running education scandals in this country.

Talk about setting children up to fail…

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1 Response to 3 year-olds started school in England this week

  1. psw260259 says:

    I don’t understand why the Government do not recognise the damage done by not giving parents a real choice.

    Of course some children will be ready for school at just four (or even still 3) but MANY are not, and the parents of these children know this and want a choice – and a easy way to make a difference and to give parents who want a fair choice – would be to enable those children who are not ready for school reception, to attend a early years setting funded up to the same number of hours as they would be in school (subject to parent decision on how many hours they wanted their child to attend a early years setting)

    Early years settings also know (from their observations of the child) who is ready for school reception and who is not – and could provide professional support to parents who decide not to send their child to school before statutory school age.

    However, the worse thing is – many children who were Prem babies are still technically 3 when they start school – (and in lots of developmental ways are at a three year olds developmental stage) but yet are tested by the Government for baseline testing / at end of Foundation Stage with little or no regard to the fact that if they had been born on (or near) their due date they would have at least another full year before taking these tests

    Shocking – and as you say – setting many children up to fail – and for their parents to feel they have failed their child / should have done more / need to do more in the future so their child does not ‘fall behind’ – when in fact their child has not failed / does not need help to catch up – the only thing wrong is Government policy – and inappropriate testing.

    It is all Too Much, Too Soon


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