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School readiness: The importance of a multi-agency approach

02 December 2020
Volume 1 · Issue 6


The transiton to school from the home or early years setting is a crucial time in a child's life. Public health nurses and early years professionals have a crucial role to play in ensuring that children are ready for school entry. In this first part of a two-part series, Neil Henty looks at the definitions of school readiness and the factors affecting it.

There is no question that children need support on their learning journey and there is no doubt that each child's journey is of vital importance. Not only to themselves, but to society at large. We know that change in anyone's life offers both opportunities and challenges. Children, especially young children, face many transitions in their lives, one of the biggest being the move from the home or early years setting to primary school, normally in the Reception year.

To many adults, this transition may seem a natural progression, one that children manage and cope with almost imperceptibly. Often, this is not the case, with issues presenting either before starting school or more commonly in the months and years afterwards. How well prepared children are for school is referred to as ‘school readiness’.

‘Preparing for school entry can be an extremely anxious time for parents and their child. Health visitors and school nurses have a fundamental role to play in supporting parents and ensuring the child is ready and prepared for school life.’

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