Education Letter: Agony in the early years

THE QCA is not suggesting that children should start "formal education" (whatever that means) too early. Our consultation document makes it quite clear that building children's confidence and readiness to learn, and developing their personal and social skills, are the first priority.

We are proposing a "foundation stage" for children aged 3-5, to cover the whole range of pre-school settings which are currently available. We are certainly not suggesting that every four-year-old should be in a reception class. Nor are we suggesting that children should be "crammed" academically. The proposed early learning goals are for the end of the reception year, when many children are approaching their sixth birthday.

We welcome your readers' responses to the consultation, which closes on 30 April.


Qualifications and Curriculum Authority

London W1