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Principals call for change to school starting age

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Brett Henebery | 28 Jul 2016, 10:00 AM Agree 0
Tasmanian principals have called for the school starting age to be lowered, but how young is too young for children to start school?
  • Tas Keepit | 28 Jul 2016, 12:56 PM Agree 0
    I didn't realise that Tassie was out in front in one area of education compared to the rest of the nation. Starting children at 6 years and 6 months is great. How could you possibly want to start them at 4 years and 6 months? Do you really know what that is like? 4y 6m is way too young. We have been doing it in NSW for years and it is simply wrong, wrong, wrong. I do hope you like changing nappies and toilet training kids. You will also need more boxes of tissues for when you have difficult conversations with parents because their 4 1/2 year old simply wasn't ready for school and now you believe they should be repeated. You Tasmanians should stick to a good thing while you have it. Some of the more outstanding countries start their students at 7 or 8 years of age. Why on earth do you want 4 1/2 year olds when they should be at home having fun and playing with their mum or dad? In NSW I'd like to increase the starting age to about 6, but at least 5 years.

    When children start from 4 1/2 to 5/1/2 there is about 20% age difference from youngest to oldest in Kinder. This is massive and does not even take into consideration children who start a year later. What chance does a 4 1/2 year old boy have of competing or even keeping up with a 5 1/2 year old girl? Very little! Our current system is like comparing students in year 12 doing the HSC and students in year 10 doing the HSC. Yes, some kids in year 10 could do it, but not large numbers, yet we have thousands of 4 1/2 year olds starting school, being set up for failure in many aspects of their education. You need to rethink this outrageous concept. Most kids are better off at home with their parents for a longer period of time and if you disagree then maybe you need to work with and upskill the parents , not punish the children.

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