“For the government to be considering a flexible starting date for summer-born babies can only be a good thing for parents and schools alike. If you consider that, according to official figures, August-born babies are 50 per cent more likely to be labelled as ‘special needs’, then we need to raise this as an issue for discussion.
“Ultimately, giving parents greater flexibility regarding their child’s entry into education means that their child is far more likely to feel ready for school when they do start, which can only benefit their progress.
“The positives are clearly being recognised on the continent, where it’s more commonplace for children to start school at six. By starting later, children are more likely to be socially ready for school as well as better equipped to deal with numeracy and literacy. Of course, this can be boosted by early engagement with learning at home, but a later starting age will create a more level playing field where less developed children aren’t playing catch-up or feeling inadequate.”