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Upstart - homepage image depicting curiosityScotland’s children are Scotland’s future. To realise their full potential, they need the very best start to their education. The western countries with the best records in education don’t start formal schooling till children are seven. Instead they have a kindergarten stage based on well-established principles of child development.

Current Scottish policy supports a developmental approach, but the structure of our schooling system makes it difficult to deliver. A statutory kindergarten stage ensures that the ethos of education for the under-sevens is different from that of formal schooling.

In today’s fast-moving, high-pressure world, children need more opportunities to learn through play (especially outdoors), to develop their spoken language and social skills, and to build sound foundations for academic achievement. Please read Why Upstart? and watch our short film to find out more about our aims. To keep up-to-date with the campaign, follow us on Facebook or Twitter, or register for the monthly newsletter on the right sidebar form.

Recent Blog Posts

UN Convention on Children’s Rights Now Incorporated in Scots Law

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by Cathy McCulloch, co-Founder and co-Director of Scotland's Children's Parliament This is how Children's Parliament introduces the new United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (Incorporation) (Scotland) Act…

Letter from a teacher to an MSP

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Dear Jamie Hepburn, I am a primary school teacher with nursery teacher experience and I have taught in nurseries, Primary 1 and Primary 2 for sixteen years. All of my…

Will ‘systems failure’ make a laughing stock of UNCRC?

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by Diane Delaney of Give Them Time In the wake of our hard-fought campaign for funded referral of all four-year-olds, achievement of our goal might seem like the culmination of our…


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by Dawn Ewan Play is the work of the child  Maria Montessori We know that play is important – a biological imperative. It's how we discover and connect to ourselves,…