Daily Mail article: 12/9/2013
A new movement in the UK aimed at children starting formal schooling at age 7 will launch tomorrow.
Children should not start primary school until they are six or seven-years-old, according to a coalition of education experts who warn of the damaging pressure to perform in class at a young age.
A letter written by 130 teachers, academics and authors said the UK should follow the Scandinavian model and put off formal lessons for two years.
Under the UK’s current system, children start full-time schooling at the age of four or five.
Experts say this is causing ‘profound damage’ in a generation which is not encouraged to learn through play.
But the call was last night dismissed by as ‘misguided’ by a spokesman for the Education Secretary Michael Gove.
Children in the UK are obliged by law to be in school aged five, which the lobby group said is creating a ‘too much, too soon’ culture.
The warning singled out recent government proposals which mean five year olds could be formally tested from the beginning of their schooling.
Under the current system, children are first assessed at the age of seven. But under Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s proposals, a ‘baseline’ test could be introduced in the first year of primary school.
The group of experts warned that monitoring a pupil’s progress from such a young age promotes stress and fear around learning.