Why does Britain and its former colonies send children to school as young as four and five, when in eighty-eight per cent of the world the starting age is six or seven?
Sue Palmer, author of bestselling Toxic Childhood, uncovers the truth: it's not because of what's best for children, but historical accident and economics.
Palmer examines research ranging from neurological science to educational data, and shows that under-sevens gain most -- educationally, physically, socially and psychologically -- from not being stuck behind a desk. Upstart puts forward a passionate case for Britain adopting a proper 'kindergarten' stage that recognises what under-sevens really need.
With clarity, ease and vigour, Palmer describes a different way of doing early years education that would have huge benefits both for individual children, and for our nation.
Sue Palmer, a former headteacher in Scotland, has written more than 250 books, TV programmes and software on primary education and literacy. She has been an independent consultant to many organisations including the UK Department for Education and Skills, the National Literacy Trust and the BBC. She is the author of the bestselling and highly influential Toxic Childhood.