The age that children are first schooled formally should be increased to six or seven.
This is according to a number of educators, who have written a letter to the Daily Telegraph outlining their admiration for the system in place in many Scandinavian countries.
Currently, children in England and Wales have to start school by the age of five, but in Finland and Sweden this rises to seven and educators believe this less formal approach pays dividends in the long run.
Among those who have signed the letter are Christine Blower, general secretary of the National Union of Teachers, Dr Mary Bousted, general secretary of the Association of Teachers and Lecturers and Chris Keates, general secretary of NASUWT.
"The early years of life are when children establish the values and mindsets that underpin their sense of self, their attitude to later learning, and their communicative skills and natural creativity," the letter states.
It adds that research backs the approach of extending nursery education and encouraging youngsters to learn through playing.
Posted by Theo Foulds