Tiger moms, brace yourselves. A group of 127 influential academics, teachers, authors and charity leaders in England have called on the government to delay formal schooling for children until they are 6 or 7 years old, or risk "profound damage" to their self-image. The Save Childhood Movement is launching the "Too Much, Too Soon" campaign this week, to advance the concern that starting kids in school at age 4 or 5 robs them of their ability to play and develop critical personal and social skills needed later in life. "Despite the fact that 90 percent of countries in the world prioritize social and emotional learning and start formal schooling at 6 or 7, in England we seem grimly determined to cling on to the erroneous belief that starting sooner means better results later," Wendy Ellyatt, founding director of the movement, told the Telegraph.
So far, the government doesn't seem swayed and a spokesman for the education secretary called the group misguided. "We need a system that aims to prepare pupils to solve hard problems in calculus or be a poet or engineer — a system freed from the grip of those who bleat bogus pop-psychology about 'self image,' which is an excuse for not teaching poor children how to add up." [Source]