Disquiet around the earlier entry to reception was the main issue debated between mumsnet users and Sir Jim Rose, author of the independent review of the primary curriculum, recently.
Some parents, particularly those with prematurely-born summer babies, feel children should be able to stay in nursery until they are five.
Mumsnet user Backtolingle said a repeat year in nursery had meant that her son, who had speech and communication difficulties at three, was now working at the same level as his peers. She feared that this option had now been closed to other parents.
But Sir Jim said that there was nothing to stop a local authority allowing children to enter reception at five, and that exceptional cases could be looked at on a case-to-case basis.
He also revealed that his five-year-old grand-daughter had been born prematurely in August. He said: "We took the decision to start her in the reception class in the September following her fourth birthday. The outcome has been a success story. This owes much to the great expertise of the reception teacher and the other adults who work with her class."