Comment: School Readiness

21 November 2013

If we were to judge and assess readiness for school only upon academic scores at the end of 13 years of schooling, then we probably wouldn't bother much in empowering parents and informing them to make assessments about their own children in a range of ways about quality of life and the journey throughout school. School is not just about the academic. School is about life, patterns of relationships, interactions, development of identity and school's despite their best intentions, have increasing demands and standards. Readiness is a complex range of issues for young children, particularly children in Australia where we continue to have one of the youngest age entries into school of most places across the world. Schools continue to try to be more ready for children which is great. However, attempting to measure the emotional and social elements of what it means to do more than just "cope" with the demands of school are not easily packaged for pre-schoolers. Measuring children repeating a grade in their primary years and then attempting to use that same measure and circumstance onto readiness of preschool children is like comparing apples and oranges. At Early Life Foundations, luckily we don't have to enter into the political or economic pressures that Government face or place at the current time upon the arguments or trends about readiness. We will always continue to uphold a family and child's right to think carefully about when is the best time for each individual child and family to start their school journey. Some will be ready and some won't be for a range of reasons which need to be respected. Frightening families with bits and pieces of obsolete studies based upon primary aged children repeating grades in primary school is not helpful.