Britain may alter elementary school start

April 30, 2009 at 12:55 PM
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LONDON, April 30 (UPI) -- British Children's Secretary Ed Balls says children born in summer months may be allowed to start elementary school months earlier than normal.

The Daily Telegraph said Balls supports a recommendation to offer September class positions to children whose birthdays fall in the summer months instead of requiring them to wait until the first January or April following their fourth birthday.

Balls said the new plan, set to go into effect in 2011, would offer parents an additional choice regarding when their child's formal education begins. He said he would not force any child whose fourth birthday falls during the summer to begin elementary school in the fall, leaving that decision to their parents or guardians, the newspaper said Thursday.

The new regulations would also allow parents to send summer-born children to elementary school part-time so the child can split time with nursery care.

"This is maximum choice for parents depending on what's best for their child," Balls said.

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