Par­ents stall on school­ing

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

MORE par­ents are choos­ing to de­lay send­ing their chil­dren to school as they strug­gle with know­ing when they are ready.

For the first time, re­searchers have looked at data from about 221,500 Queens­land state school stu­dents and scoured par­ent­ing blogs for what drives the trend that saw the num­ber of de­layed starts dou­ble be­tween 2010 and 2014.

Queens­land Univer­sity of Tech­nol­ogy’s Pro­fes­sor Su­san Walker and Dr Amanda Mer­gler said about 2.9 per cent of chil­dren started school a year later, with boys and chil­dren born just be­fore the cut- off date for school en­try most likely to be held back.

Par­ents feared their child would fall be­hind or be too young to re­sist peer pres­sure when they hit high school.

“Sur­pris­ingly, though, the child’s aca­demic readi­ness or devel­op­ment was rarely men­tioned,” Dr Mer­gler said.

“No one said: ‘ I want my kid to be in front’, it was al­ways ‘ I do not want my kid to be left be­hind’.”

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