09:21 13 September 2013
Campaign group, Save Childhood Movement, have launched the Too Much, Too Soon campaign saying that children should start formal schooling at the age of six or seven.
They added that early schooling causes profound damage to children. On the other hand, they say that children who start schooling at the age of six or seven "consistently achieve better educational results as well as higher levels of well-being". Signatories include teachers, academics, charities, and writers.
The letter was also signed by Lord Layard, the director of the Well-Being Programme at the London School of Economics, director of Play England Catherine Prisk, and senior lecturer in psychology of education at Cambridge University Dr David Whitebread.
Commissioner for England Sir Al Aynsley-Green, another signatory, said: "If you look at a country like Finland children don't start formal, full-scale education until they are seven.
"These extra few years, in my view, provide a crucial opportunity, when supported by well-trained, well-paid and highly educated staff, for children to be children."
Meanwhile, Wendy Ellyatt, the group founding director said: "Despite the fact that 90% of countries in the world prioritise social and emotional learning and start formal schooling at six or seven, in England we seem grimly determined to cling on to the erroneous belief that starting sooner means better results later.
"There is nothing wrong with seeking high educational standards and accountability, but there is surely something very wrong indeed if this comes at the cost of natural development."
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