Original paper headline: Boys won't be girls
Recent press reports that boys are "failing" or "falling behind" would never have arisen if we were not targeting them in developmentally inappropriate ways.
The real question we should be asking is "Are five-year-old girls really streets ahead, or is it that boys develop differently and have different developmental priorities on a different time scale?" In which case we need to be wary of testing young children at all.
However discreetly assessments are done, they cannot help but give rise to false conclusions about what is the norm for children's developmental abilities - especially when set out in a mandatory framework for learning like the early years foundation stage.
- Margaret Edgington, Early years consultant - Kim Simpson, Nursery proprietorprincipal, Richmond, Surrey.