County council seeks views on when children should start school

PUBLISHED: 09:49 05 November 2008 | UPDATED: 09:57 10 June 2010

PEOPLE in Devon are being asked their views on when children should start school.

PEOPLE in Devon are being asked their views on when children should start school.

At the moment children generally start in the reception class of their infant or primary school in September or January.

Some schools in the county already operate what's called a single point of entry when all children start in September. There have been calls for this system to be adopted countywide.

Now Devon education chiefs have launched a consultation exercise to find out what parents, schools, governors and other interested parties think.

This will gauge the strength of support for Devon primary and infant schools operating a single point of entry in September or continuing the general practice of entry in September and January.

If there is wide support for a change then county councillors will be asked to consider it with a view to introducing the new policy from September 2010.

Devon County Council's deputy leader and executive councillor for children's services, John Smith, said: "This is an opportunity for parents, carers and everyone involved in the education community to tell us their views.

"No decision has been made and we want to know whether people feel a single point of entry would be beneficial or detrimental to children. "

Changing to a single point of entry would mean:

* All children could start school in the September after their fourth birthday

* All children would still have to begin appropriate education by the beginning of the term following their fifth birthday

* Parents will retain the right to postpone entry to later in the academic year if they felt their child was not yet ready to start

* Parents could seek advice from schools and pre-schools when considering whether their child was ready to start school

* In the autumn term, younger four-year-old children would attend school rather than pre-schools and childminders.

The closing date for consultations is November 30, 2008.

People can email onepointentry-mailbox@devon.gov.uk or go online at www.devon.gov.uk/speconsultation.

Hard copies of the information leaflet with a general response form can be requested from My Devon on 0845 155 1019.

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