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Press releases

ATL comment on summer-born children and school starting age

ATL | Association of Teachers and Lecturers

1 min read Partner content

Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL), said:

“ATL has consistently argued that early years education needs to be flexible enough to support all children to succeed regardless of the age at which they start school. Although some parents will want to delay the start of school for their child, today’s announcement will not solve the problems.

“International research indicates that expecting children to follow an overly-formal, narrow academic curriculum at too young an age is counter- productive and damaging to their learning. The increasingly formalised national curriculum and assessment in the crucial first few years of school are the main reasons many parents want to delay the start of school for their summer born children, so we urge Nick Gibb to modify these to address parental anxieties.

“ATL’s believes there should be a local partnership approach, with schools working closely with early education and care providers to develop staged transitions to school. Early years professionals would then work together to support each child and their families to move at the appropriate time. We have become increasingly concerned about children being ‘school ready’, perhaps it would be better to ask how can we make our schools ‘child ready’?”