Parents in England are to be given much more choice about when their children start school.

Currently, all local authorities have to ensure all children have a school place by the time they are five.

But most begin part-time, aged four, as “rising fives”, with summer-born pupils sometimes offered later starts.

From 2011, all children will be able to start school from the first September after their fourth birthday or take up a free full-time nursery place instead.

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