Should my child start Year One early?

Do you need to provide a case for early entry and what benefits or disadvantages are there?

Expert answer

Early entry to Year One is available in Queensland. It is one of many forms of acceleration that make up the best strategies for gifted children. You need to put your case to a gifted-friendly school and apply through Education Queensland if you are looking at a state school. Enter 'Early Entry' in the search box at Education Queensland website to find the guidelines. If you are looking at a non-state school they can do as they choose. If they don't know about (or implement) acceleration, or other gifted education strategies, they will not be able to say they have a gifted program.

Advantages are that the child has more chance of accessing challenging material and mixing with mental age peers. Disadvantages are reluctance of schools to consider acceleration and the possible negative behaviours of those opposed can detract from success of an early entry. See guidelines to acceleration in the gifted framework, which should also be taken into account:

There is no early entry to Prep but once the child in enrolled in a school, you can pursue other forms of acceleration. These are listed within the reports A Nation Deceived 

A one-year gradeskip will not be enough for a highly gifted child who will need radical acceleration and an individualised work program in a stimulating, challenging, risk-taking learning environment with intellectual peers to interact with and great teachers to facilitate advanced learning.

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