When should children start school?
When is your child ready to start school?
- Does your child shown signs of independence? This can be anything from suggesting a meal they would like to eat for dinner or choosing a game they’d like to play, to making decisions without being prompted (such as to brush their teeth before bedtime).
- Can your child follow instructions? Before your child begins school, they should be able to follow simple instructions, such as putting away their toys or helping to feed the family pet.
- How does your child interact with other children? This may relate to the manner in which they play with other children and how they communicate, as well as being able to share and demonstrate (very) basic conflict resolution skills.
If you have concerns about whether your child is ready for school, it can be helpful to have a chat to their carers or early childhood educators. They can generally give an indication of your child’s readiness, in addition to detailing areas in which they require further assistance before making the transition to formal schooling.
The transition to secondary school
Some Queensland parents have also criticised the move of Year 7 to the secondary system. While Year 7 is the first year of secondary school in almost all states and territories, Queensland students currently begin secondary school in Year 8. The move, currently in piloting stages at just one school, has seen parents voice their concerns about whether their children (some as young as 11) are ready to face secondary education.
Refer to the following state-based Department of Education websites for information and tips relating to school entry:
- ACT - Department of Education and Training
- New South Wales - Department of Education and Communities
- Northern Territory - Department of Education and Training
- Queensland - Queensland Department of Education and Training
- South Australia - Department of Education and Child Development
- Tasmania - Department of Education
- Victoria - Department of Education and Early Childhood Development
- Western Australia - Department of Western Australia