“Yes, a vexed question. Kay Margetts (2008) here at University of Melbourne did a study and found that within a year or two it was not possible to track back kids who started earlier or were red shirted. There is evidence that older kids in a class have an advantage but there are so many factors that it is hard to find any evidence of impact re starting dates. A lot relates to the policy – in New Zealand for example the child starts school in the semester they turn 5 (until recently it was on the day they turned 5), whereas in Australia it is in the year they turn 5 -- In Australia but not New Zealand there is a higher correlation between starting age and performance in the early years (hence star signs are a good proxy!!!) but not so high in New Zealand – so lot depends on the local policy. My own reading would say deliberately holding back for some form of advantage is hard to defend and too big a gamble – most parents who worry about this matter should have a good sense of the right time --Again here in Australia some starts are lowering the entry age (Tasmania to 3) partly to avoid these games, but more to ensure a great start – as for some it is too late at 5 or 6! It is a pity that parents have this dilemma largely caused by poor policy (wide months for starting dates)” (John Hattie, personal communication, August 28, 2018).
Articles in this section
- What is the difference between transformational and instructional leaders?
- What can a school leader do to shift the mind set of teachers and parents and make a difference?
- Why are some of the other school variables such as policies, buildings, school size, and curriculum ruled out in the Visible Learning research?
- An increasing number of parents request delayed start for Kindergarten. The belief is this will give them a “boost” over their classmates. The research I have found does not suggest this is true but I wondered if your research had any further information?
- My elementary school is contemplating departmentalization. Is departmentalization simply team teaching?
- What are your thoughts on innovative learning spaces?
- What does the research say about what effective principals do when they walk through classrooms? Is there a resource you can refer us to?
- What is the evidence for the 1.57 effect size for collective teacher efficacy?
- My school shortened the school day but is now getting push-back from parents. Do you have anything to help in the discussion with parents regarding the length of the school day?
- If there is any other research that you feel might be useful for parents like myself who are trying to make a decision about primary school education, I would greatly appreciate your recommendation. As a parent, choosing a school is challenging!