Department of Education proposes that children start national school at five years of age.

Many children starting primary school, such as those at Holy Child National School in Whitehall, are four years old. However this could be the last year that four year old children are allowed to start at state schools.

The Minister for Education Gemma Hussey has delivered a discussion document 'The Age of Learning' to seek the views of teachers, parents and educationalists about raising the school entry age to five years.

Ireland now has the lowest school entry age in Europe. However other European counties have properly structured pre-school facilities.

Teachers say children benefit from starting school at four and they will fight government attempts to introduce a higher entry age for children beginning their primary education.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 3 September 1984. The reporter is Kieron Wood.