The Loss of Childhood?

By Morwenna Evans Tuesday, April 15, 2014

A recent article published in the Telegraph warned that childhood could be ‘eroded’ due to an increased amount of time spent in the classroom.

“Childhood is being "eroded" as pupils as young as four are forced into an increasingly stressful 10-hour school day, teachers have warned.

Extended timetables are damaging family life and have left young children wandering around schools "like ghosts" and falling asleep in lessons, it was claimed."

Children as young as 2 could start school

A report by the Association of Teachers and Lecturers (ATL) warned that the longer day seen in many schools was harming children’s development. Around three-quarters of teachers said that families spend less time together now than they did five years ago, with more children enrolled in school from 8am until 6pm. Ministers have encouraged schools to open for longer to increase access to extra-curricular activities and enable parents to work without having to pay over-the-odds for childcare.

Sir Michael Wilshaw, the head of Ofsted, has also called for more youngsters to start school-based nurseries from the age of two to give them access to better early literacy and numeracy. But ATL claimed that the development meant “childhood was being eroded” as young people spend longer in formal education and less time with their families and friends.

What are your experiences? Do you think school days could be too long for children? Should children start school at 2?