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Raising the school age won't work

The dramatic plan by the Government to raise the school-starting age to five is a short-sighted, desperate attempt to save money.

It will knock 40,000 children back educationally and lead to chaos for parents trying to make childcare arrangements.

Keeping children at home -- in some cases until the age of six -- would only be a solution if we had a well-established, effective pre-school system. We do not. ....This measure is not being taken on the back of research which shows that children benefit hugely from such a delayed start. It is being driven simply and solely by financial considerations.

Young children are on their most important, most effective learning curve up to the age of seven.

This may save money in the very short term but the long-term price is completely unacceptable.