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GloomMonger

Children 'start School Too Young'

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http://news.sky.com/story/1140501/children-start-school-too-young-experts

Wendy Ellyatt, the founding director of the movement, told the Telegraph: "Despite the fact that 90% of countries in the world prioritise social and emotional learning and start formal schooling at six or seven, in England we seem grimly determined to cling on to the erroneous belief that starting sooner means better results later.

"There is nothing wrong with seeking high educational standards and accountability, but there is surely something very wrong indeed if this comes at the cost of natural development."

But the Department for Education described the ideas as "misguided".

A spokesman for Education Secretary Michael Gove said: "These people represent the powerful and badly misguided lobby who are responsible for the devaluation of exams and the culture of low expectations in state schools.

"We need a system that aims to prepare pupils to solve hard problems in calculus or be a poet or engineer - a system freed from the grip of those who bleat bogus pop-psychology about 'self image', which is an excuse for not teaching poor children how to add up."

I have 2 toddlers and the state education system in this country terrifies me. Does anyone agree that children should start learning later than they do currently?

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http://news.sky.com/story/1140501/children-start-school-too-young-experts

I have 2 toddlers and the state education system in this country terrifies me. Does anyone agree that children should start learning later than they do currently?

Same for me. We have two toddlers too and it seems here in the UK the government is hell bent on getting all children into state supplied child care and schools as soon as possible. They don't want children to be influenced too much by their parents and they want all adults working for large corporates paying lots of taxes and getting into lots of debt. They want children to accept this as the norm too.

I agree that young children should spend more time playing and go to school later. Most other countries start their children in school later and get better results, so the evidence speaks for itself. I would believe the evidence far more than Gove or any other minister.

Children need to be taught when they are ready to learn. There is no point trying to teach advanced maths when children are learning the alphabet!

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I think we push formal education too much too young. I've friends with children in the US and Swiss education systems and their formal education is way slower than ours, children learn to read later.

From memory I would have preferred this as I found school pretty tedious for many years (and I was academic) because of the endless repetition and the accumulated memory of years sat bored in a classroom doing maths and english. A later / slower start would help in keeping it all fresher and mean more enthusiasm in the later years. I was getting very bored by 16 and slacked off, getting my enthusiasm back in sixth form where I could drop the same old boring subjects and do something I was interested in.

I would go for later learning and less academic stuff early on, school should be enjoyable.

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This is a hot topic being widely debated in NI at the minute. Children here start school at 4. This strikes me as madness, especially when you take into account the differing developmental stages between a child of 4 compared to a 5,6 or 7 year old.

Across Europe school starting ages vary (not including pre-school or nursery, which are compulsory in some countries)

http://www.nfer.ac.uk/nfer/index.cfm?9B1C0068-C29E-AD4D-0AEC-8B4F43F54A28

Northern Ireland 4

Cyprus, England, Malta, Scotland, Wales 5

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Republic of Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Romania Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Turkey 6

Bulgaria Estonia, Finland, Latvia , Lithuania , Poland , Serbia , Sweden 7

I listened to a radio debate about this yesterday and was astonished to hear that the main reason for the early start for education seemed to be that parents need to work - very true, most need both parents to work to afford their lifestyles. There was also some debate about research which showed that that children preform better in school if they start at a later time, say10 o'clock. Again the argument against that was getting to work on time.

Perhaps it's time we arranged schooling on what's best for the children,rather than what suit's the adults.

From the tele last year - interesting stuff.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9289480/Starting-school-at-seven-can-boost-pupils-reading-skills.html

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/education/educationnews/9266592/Bright-children-should-start-school-at-six-says-academic.html

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Education should be whatever the parents and to some extent children want it to be.

By that argument the Taliban choosing to deny women an education is fair enough then, and a farmer who just wants his kid to take over his farm should be allowed to keep them at home so that they have no other career option.

I've read some things on here....

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I have 2 toddlers and the state education system in this country terrifies me. Does anyone agree that children should start learning later than they do currently?

Varies between children, we were lucky to have both born in September, so as old as possible before starting.

I do think another year would be fine and probably not make a lot of difference to final outcomes.

I've been pretty impressed with the primary school we chose, my main problem is not so much the school as the system with SATS from age 7, and the highly prescriptive curriculum. But of course we have the Daily Mail comparing our schools to SE Asian cramming factories, pushing the government to 'do something'..

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