MORE parents are choosing to delay sending their children to school as they struggle with knowing when they are ready.
For the first time, researchers have looked at data from about 221,500 Queensland state school students and scoured parenting blogs for what drives the trend that saw the number of delayed starts double between 2010 and 2014.
Queensland University of Technology's Professor Susan Walker and Dr Amanda Mergler said about 2.9 per cent of children started school a year later, with boys and children born just before the cut-off date for school entry most likely to be held back.
Parents feared their child would fall behind or be too young to resist peer pressure when they hit high school.
"Surprisingly, though, the child's academic readiness or development was rarely mentioned," Dr Mergler said. "No one said 'I want my kid to be in front', it was always 'I do not want my kid to be left behind'."