chapter  8
Early school days
Pages 11

The law in Britain requires that children must go to school by the age of five. This means that for 6 hours a day some people outside the family-school teachers-take statutory responsibility for them. This means that a child is formally under the orders, and thus partially in the possession of, a stranger. They probably have been to a play-group or nursery school, but a child’s view of the world will still have been much filtered by their parents. A child will have attuned to their habits and morality, so that their standards would sometimes have seemed the only ones possible. Now the child belongs also to the school and its teachers, who may have quite different habits from their parents. The other children will also have unfamiliar habits and beliefs, and their parents are likely to be from other countries, continents, and cultures. Lastly, a child will be in a classroom to learn intellectual skills and, for the first time, will have to submit to doing this in a formal setting (Barrett & Trevatt, 1991; Green, 1968; Sroufe, 1996).