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A recent survey conducted by early years charity Kindred² has revealed widespread support for the notion that children should be toilet-trained before starting primary school.

The survey of 1,500 adults found that an overwhelming 90% believe children should not be allowed to begin school until they have mastered this basic skill.

Despite experts stating that most children are capable of toilet training by the age of three, alarming statistics show that one in four children arrive at their first class, reception, without this essential ability. This concerning trend has prompted a growing backlash against parents sending their children to school in nappies.

Education watchdog Ofsted has emphasized the importance of basic skills, including using the toilet, in preparing children for school readiness. Felicity Gillespie, director of Kindred² charity, highlighted the significant impact on both individual pupils and their classmates when children start school without this fundamental skill.

The survey also uncovered interesting perspectives on parental responsibility for toilet training. While only half of parents believe they are solely responsible for this task, one in five parents think children do not need to be out of nappies before starting reception. Moreover, a quarter of respondents believe schools should hire additional staff specifically to assist with toilet training.

Mrs. Gillespie emphasized the strain on teachers when having to assist children who are not toilet-trained, reducing the attention and time available for all students. Previous research by the charity revealed that teachers spend around 2.5 hours per day supporting unprepared children in reception class.

Describing the situation as a "child development crisis," Mrs. Gillespie pointed out that some schools have established special units alongside reception classes to accommodate children still in nappies or lacking other basic skills.

The survey also indicated varying opinions on the ideal age for toilet training, with one-third believing it should be accomplished by age two and 41% by age three. Research underscores the importance of early childhood development, with children's developmental levels at 22 months strongly predicting educational outcomes at age 26. Photo by ParentingPatch, Wikimedia commons.