Let kids play, says group wanting to raise school age

NZ Herald 13 Sept 2013
Formal schooling in Britain should be delayed until the age of 6 or 7 because early education is causing “profound damage” to children, an influential lobby of almost 130 experts warns.

Traditional lessons should be put on hold for up to two years amid fears that successive governments have promoted a “too much, too soon” culture in schools and nurseries, it is claimed.

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, the group of academics, teachers, authors and charity leaders call for a fundamental reassessment of national policies on early education.

It is claimed the present system robs infants of the ability to play and puts too much emphasis on formal learning at a young age. The letter warns the Government is ratcheting up the requirements with policies that prioritise “school readiness” over free play.

This includes the possible introduction of a new baseline test for 5-year-olds in England and qualifications for childcare staff that make little reference to learning through play, they say.