Right to resist early starting age

28th May 2010 at 01:00

Tess Robson and the parents in her school are right to be concerned about a September start to reception for summer-born children ("Parents back starting-age revolt", May 21).

Even Sir Jim Rose, who advocated this policy, acknowledged that research shows that the youngest reception children are likely to be seen as "less able" than their older peers and may even be deemed to have special educational needs. Boys and children learning English as an additional language are particularly vulnerable to this labelling. Maintained nursery schools, a huge majority of which have been judged to be good or outstanding by Ofsted, offer staffing ratios, environments and a curriculum that are ideal for three to five-year-olds. Parents whose child is lucky enough to have a place in one are wise to keep this place for as long as possible.

Margaret Edgington, Vice president of The National Campaign for Real Nursery Education, Leicester.

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