Pressure to Reduce Compulsory School Age ‘by the Back Door’ Reaches New Punitive Low

Parents and Play Penalised outside Preschool setting

In Sunday’s Guardian, Political Editor Patrick Wintour reported on social engineering an parent pressure at its worst: “No pre-school, no child benefit, Tory thinktank says in report on poverty

With flagrant disregard for England’s CSAge and a parent’s legal right to wait until the term following their child’s 5th birthday before commencing education, the report says liberal Conservative pressure group Bright Blue suggests: “Parents should be denied child benefit if they do not send their children to pre-school education from the age of three…[and] should apply to a parent in the case of a child aged two if the toddler comes from a disadvantaged background…

Bright Blue says, “it is essential to seek new ways to persuade parents” but importantly, the Pre-School Learning Alliance agrees with the Summer Born Campaign‘s view and has rejected the idea completely.In a statement on its website yesterday, the Alliance’s chief executive Neil Leitch said:

“We are firmly opposed to this proposal. While we would always promote the benefits of quality early years education and childcare, the suggestion that the government should rely on punitive measures to increase free entitlement take-up is not only ludicrous, but insulting to those families this report claims to be seeking to support, suggesting that they cannot be trusted to decide what is best for their own child.

“We believe that parents are their child’s first educator and should play an integral role in shaping their early learning experiences — including making a decision on whether or not to place their child into a childcare provision. The recommendation to make child benefit conditional on the take-up of a free entitlement place is beyond flawed, and one that government would be wise to disregard completely.”

Written by author and journalist Pauline Hull

This entry was posted in CAMPAIGN UPDATES, EXAMPLE CASES. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Pressure to Reduce Compulsory School Age ‘by the Back Door’ Reaches New Punitive Low

  1. Angela Rawden says:

    I am utterly disgusted at this proposal. Will this government not be happy until all children are clones? Maybe we should be forced to dress them in blue suits and ties whilst we are at it!!


  2. It really does make you wonder where these people come from!

    Why should I, as a stay at home parent, be punished for wanting to spend time with my children? I’m a stay at home parent out of choice. In fact more than that. It was always my plan to stay at home with my children just as my mum did with us, so I’m intentionally a stay at home parent. I’m more than capable of providing a stimulating environment for my children within a loving family network. I don’t need to ‘sub-contract’ that out to an Early Years setting for 30 hours a week.

    My #summerborn daughter will be starting school at csa. I have yet to find any research that suggests earlier formal learning leads to greater attainment or, more importantly greater happiness and well being!


  3. Hayley says:

    I am shocked and outraged all at once. What is the government trying to imply about the UKs parents? How will they determine who is from a disadvantaged background and therefore should be forced to hand their child over to someone else or be punished??! Since when were mothers and parents so totally dos regarded disrespected and I’ll thought of that we are now incapable of raising our own children. I feel this government is damaging families stealing our children from us and making sure strangers raise the UKs children as we rip them forces my from their mothers arms or face the consequences. I have yet to see ANY evidence that this “reminiscent of the workhouses” approach can benefit children of families. We have a lack of community and family values in this country already and this government is doing its best to drive any tiny bit of it that’s left down the drain. Taking our children out of our families & our parents out to work as much as they can leaving lonely empty vulnerable human beings open to all the negative forces offering them a purpose elsewhere. We had the Latch keys kids, we now have children seeking refuge in social media and terrorism. Unless we start supporting families & rebuilding community the only outcome is more lost and vulnerable souls open to all the dangers that brings and a mental health time bomb in the uk. I am just disgusted.


    • happygrecian says:

      The irony is that the Tories mock the “nanny state” but then suggest this. Of course it’s not about what’s best for the children, it’s all about forcing people into zero hours contracts and the like.


  4. Akanksha says:

    It is indeed sad that politicians who have no clue regarding child development or any concerns whatsoever of the mental health of people concerned can actually promote policies that are damaging in both short and long run. Taking powers away from Parents is regressive and flawed. Surely they cannot introduce such measures without taking people’s views on board. They should be delaying the age at which children start school and not the other way round. Hoping that better sense will prevail.


  5. happygrecian says:

    Well, now they’ve somehow won a majority, they’ve got five years to do what the hell they like. I think it’s what they laughingly call democracy.


  6. RDutton says:

    Bright Blue not only show a blatant disregard for England’s compulsory school age, I don’t think they are actually aware of it as their report states, ‘primary school is compulsory for four and five year olds’. Not only is primary school not compulsory for four year olds, it’s simply not compulsory at all. School is not compulsory, education is.

    What I think this clearly shows in regard to the summer born issue is that there is an entrenched culture of an age four school start in England. Parents are often left *begging* admission authorities that their child can start school at CSAge. It is a parents right to request this, many admission authorities forget that; try and make parents think otherwise, forcing them to enrol their child in school early, against their wishes and child’s best interests.


  7. Katherine says:

    It’s truly disgusting that they are suggesting punishing parents for not using totally optional provision. If they are concerned that children are not being cared for, surely encouraging them to attend stay and play sessions would be more productive? Oh wait, the children’s centres that would have provided that have been closed down…


  8. Miguel says:

    There seems to be no limits to politicians’ antagonistic attitudes towards the people. Makes me wonder whats behind it… Endoctrination? Start them good and start them young” as quoted by a famous philosopher… On simpler grounds, I cannot see the reasoning for their proposals… Sad!


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