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formal schooling should start at age six or seven

12 September 2013

A group of educationalists have written a letter to the Daily Telegraph today warning that starting school at the age of four or five, as we do in the UK, causes “profound damage” to children. The group, called the Save Childhood Movement, will launch its Too Much, Too Soon campaign tomorrow and call for play-based schooling for three to seven year olds.

A DfE spokesperson said the ideas are “misguided” and accused the group of bleating “bogus pop-psychology about “self-image”, which is an excuse for not teaching poor children how to add up”.

The education superpower, Finland, is presented as the model where children start formal education at age seven. We couldn’t accuse the Finns of having children who can’t add up so perhaps we should all consider the forthcoming campaign with an open mind.

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