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Press release: Returning to existing nursery or school provision in the autumn will give our children the best transitions

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Monday, 6 July, 2020

Entry into nursery, reception and Key Stage 1 should be delayed by up to a term to help children build confidence, resilience and positive relationships, according to early years charities Early Education (The British Association for Early Childhood Education) and TACTYC (The Association for Professional Development in Early Years). 

In recommendations published today, they encourage parents to remember that children do not need to start school until a term after they reach statutory school age, and that if children will benefit from the continuity of returning to their existing provider, that can help children consolidate their learning and be ready to move on.

Schools and early years providers are encouraged to work flexibly together to consider whether an extra term in a child’s previous year group will best meet their needs and provide the foundation for later learning.

Early Education Chief Executive, Beatrice Merrick, said:

“We know schools and settings are already preparing for transitions in the autumn term, and that conversations are taking place between schools, providers and parents to fit with local circumstances.  We want to encourage everyone involved to think flexibly about what best meets children’s needs.  The autumn entry date is not fixed in stone, and if numbers of children taking up their early entitlements in the autumn are lower than normal, there will be flexibility in the system to allow children to have longer transitions where this is in their best interests.”

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Notes to editors: 

Early Education (The British Association for Early Childhood Education) is the leading independent national charity for early years practitioners and parents, campaigning for the right of all children to education of the highest quality. Founded in 1923, it has members in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales and provides a national voice on matters that relate to effective early childhood education and care of young children from birth to eight. The organisation supports the professional development of practitioners through publications, training, conferences, seminars and access to a national and regional branch network. For more information on the work of Early Education visit