1,000 signatures reached
To: Tasmanian Minister for Education, the Hon Jeremy Rockliff. The Tasmanian Legislative Assembly.
Stop Lowering of School Age in Tasmania
Listen to the experts; to the parents, the education practitioners and the psychologists: Starting school at 3 and a half, even 4 and a half is too much, too soon.
Please do not lower the school starting age.
Instead invest in quality early learning initiatives that put social and emotional development first; that respect the whole child; that engage both children and their families, and support parents to develop their parenting capacities.
These are the things that will truly lead to better long term engagement in learning and greater educational attainment.
Let the children play.
Why is this important?
• Starting formal school at a younger age goes against what contemporary research shows is best for children’s holistic learning and development.
• The changes could potentially have a devastating effect on the viability of many child care services, especially in regional areas where some centres may be forced to close.
Starting formal schooling at such a young age is developmentally inappropriate and can be damaging to children’s long-term health, wellbeing, learning dispositions and educational attainment.
Cambridge University expert in the cognitive development of young children, Dr David Whitebread, says, ''the overwhelming evidence suggests that five is just too young to start formal learning…The empirical evidence is that children who have a longer period of play-based early childhood education, finish up with a whole range of clear advantages in the long term. Academically they do better and they experience more emotional wellbeing.''
If this change in the Education Act really is about increasing Tasmania’s education outcomes, do not send our children to school before they are ready.
How it will be delivered
We will deliver this Petition to the Minister, by hand.
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