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I'd hate to say whether streaming in schools is a good thing or a bad thing (lots of arguments on both sides), but I am confident that streaming at age 7 is wrong.

Why?

This article.

The key point for me is that autumn-born children are more likely to be in the top stream.  Now this is clearly an effect of these children being the oldest in their class when they start school.  They aren't more intelligent, they merely have a timing advantage.

As children are likely to remain in a given stream once they get into it, I don't think streaming should start until summer-born children have caught up with autumn-born children.  (Does anyone know what age that is likely to happen by?  Does the effect ever even out?  Should we have school intakes at different times of year?)

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Judith Proctor

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