Skip to main content
Log in

Preparatory teachers’ perceptions of school readiness: a survey of Victorian teachers

  • Published:
The Australian Educational Researcher Aims and scope Submit manuscript


This study surveyed perspectives held by school teachers regarding factors that contribute to successful transition to school. In addition, this study explored practices in place to enhance children’s transition to school. Participants were self-nominated, preparatory teachers from publicly funded primary schools in Victoria, Australia. From 250 surveys sent to randomly selected Melbourne metropolitan schools, 153 were returned (61.2 % return rate). Numerical data were analysed descriptively and responses to open-ended questions were coded and analysed to derive common themes. All respondents identified formal processes used to assist children to transition into the first year of primary school. They also identified various child-related factors they considered important for school readiness. Factors fell broadly into cognitive, social, self-care, emotional and language domains. When asked, the majority of educators felt that age was a critical factor. Less commonly identified issues were those related to the children’s physical abilities, and their capacity to engage in learning tasks. Whilst factors identified were broad, there was a relative consistency across respondents. These findings contribute to the discourse in regards to identifying and consistently applying strategies to support children’s successful transition into school.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Fig. 1

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Crnic, K., & Lamberty, G. (1994). Reconsidering school readiness: Conceptual and applied perspectives. Early education and development, 5(2), 91–105.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Department of Education and Early Childhood Development. (2009), “Victorian early years learning and development framework: For all children from birth to eight years.”, Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (Ed.). City: State Government of Victoria, Melbourne.

  • Dockett, S., & Perry, B. (2004). Starting school: Perspectives of Australian children, parents and educators. Journal of Early Childhood Research, 2, 171–189.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Eisenberg, N., Valiente, C., & Eggum, N. D. (2010). Self regulation and school readiness. Early Education and Development, 21(5), 681–698.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Forget-Dubois, N., Dionne, G., Lemelin, J., Perusse, D., Tremblay, R. E., & Boivan, M. (2009). Early child language mediates the relation between home environment and school readiness. Child Development, 80(3), 736–749.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Gesell Institute of Child Development. (1987). The Gesell Institute responds. Young Children, 42, 7–8.

    Google Scholar 

  • Johnson, L. J., Gallagher, R. J., Cook, M., & Wong, P. (1995). Critical skills for kindergarten: Perceptions from kindergarten teachers. Journal of Early Intervention, 19, 315–327.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ladd, G. W., Herald, S. L., & Kochel, K. P. (2011). School readiness: Are there social prerequisites? Early Education and Development, 17(1), 115–150.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lara-Cinisomo, S., Fuligni, A. S., Ritchie, S., Howes, C., & Karoly, L. (2008). Getting ready for school: An examination of early childhood educators’ belief systems. Early Childhood Education Journal, 35, 343–349.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Lin, H., Lawrence, F. R., & Gorrell, J. (2003). Kindergarten teachers’ views of children’s readiness for school. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 18, 225–237.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Luster, T., & McAdoo, H. P. (1996). Family and child influences on educational attainment: A secondary analysis of the high/scope Perry Preschool data. Developmental Psychology, 32, 26–39.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Mashburn, A. J., & Pianta, R. C. (2006). Social relationships and school readiness. Early Education and Development, 17(1), 151–176.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ripich, D. N., & Spinelli, F. M. (1985). Some conclusions about school talk. In D. N. Ripich & F. M. Spinelli (Eds.), School discourse problems (pp. 226–259). London: Taylor & Francis.

    Google Scholar 

  • Scarpati, S., & Silver, P. G. (1992). Readiness for academic achievement in preschool children. In E. V. Nuttal, I. Romero & J. Kalesnik (Eds.), Assessing and screening preschoolers: Psychological and educational domains, Chapter 14 (2nd ed.). Boston: Allyn and Bacon.

  • Tattershall, S., & Creaghead, N. (1985). A comparison of communication at home and at school. In D. N. Ripich & F. M. Spinelli (Eds.), School discourse problems (pp. 226–259). London: Taylor & Francis.

    Google Scholar 

  • Wesley, P. W., & Buyesse, V. (2003). Making meaning of school readiness in schools and communities. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 18, 351–375.

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Zuckerman, B., & Halfon, N. (2003). School readiness: An idea whose time has arrived. Pediatrics, 111(6), 1433–1436.

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


This study was supported by a La Trobe University Faculty of Health Science Grant. We acknowledge the roles and contributions of previous members of the research group, Anne Ozanne, Patricia Eadie and Linda Santamaria. Deb Benetti supported the data collection process with great efficiency. We thank the many teachers who took the time to respond to our survey.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to Tanya Serry.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Serry, T., Imms, C., Froude, E. et al. Preparatory teachers’ perceptions of school readiness: a survey of Victorian teachers. Aust. Educ. Res. 41, 109–124 (2014).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: