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Amy starts school

Today was a landmark in my grand-daughter's life. She started her school career, at Dunblane Primary School. She looks much smarter in her school uniform than I ever did:


Mother Helen had to fight quite hard to get her in, because Amy's birthday falls in early March and in Scotland the cutoff date is 28 February. Because Amy was, this August, therefore fractionally short of the magic 4 years 6 months, it was an uphill struggle involving an early entry request. Her nursery school had never supported one of these before, though it had experience of deferral requests from parents who felt their child wasn't ready and wanted to delay by a year. But Amy is a confident, outgoing child, rapidly becoming rather too big a fish in the small nursery pond, where she has been full-time for over two years.

So far, she seems to be taking "big school" in her stride. Stirling Council seemed unable to see past the strong tide of professional opinion against "early entry", its officer making dire prophecies that "she'll never catch up", "she won't cope with older children" or "what happens when she's at top end of primary and her friends are becoming teenagers?". This attitude seemed to ignore all the pressure that make children tend to "act up" in accordance with expectations, not to mention the huge variation in size, maturity and behaviour at any given age. Anyway, today she seems cheerily unaffected by all the fuss.


I am confident that her mother did the right thing by defending her right to start school. Since her mother knows her better than anyone, the Council was right to give way (eventually)! Early entry wouldn't work for every child, indeed we considered it and decided against in Helen's own case, but children vary enormously. Here are wise mother and cheery child, relaxing together after school.



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