There is much to be welcomed in the One Nation Conservative MPs’ report (Tory MPs back ditching GCSE exams in English school system overhaul, 8 October), especially the proposal to postpone formal school entry to age six.
But if, as the group wishes, more children are to be “school-ready” by that age, a more ambitious and radical overhaul of the education system in England will be needed. In particular, we would do well to learn from the many other countries where kindergarten for three- to six-year-olds is recognised as a discrete developmental stage, with professionals working in it who have specialist training and a clear career structure. Best practice in those countries concentrates on developing young children’s spoken language, socialisation and fine motor skills – all crucial for educational success and difficult to achieve sitting at desks.
A rational structure for the rest of schooling would be a primary