The Professional Association of Teachers (PAT) have called for children to start school at the age of 6 or 7 rather than 4, which is the current situation. They argue that school deprives them of free, indirected play, which leaves them at a disadvantage when faced with the difficulties of the real world.
Deborah Lawson former PAT Chair stated, “Play allows children to have fun – so important – learn to socialise, make friends and share, express feelings, make choices, negotiate and problem solve.”
Again the comparison with Europe is made, where children begin school at a much later age.
There seems to be an undercurrent of feeling that our children are getting too much school: start at a later age and have shorter terms – why not? But I feel this throws a burden on parents that some are not prepared to accept. For those parents who do care, their children would certainly be better off with more time away from school.
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