MORE than a third of parents in the region worry that their children won’t make friends when they start school, according to an Action for Children poll of over 2,200 parents.

Brigitte Gater, director of children’s services at Action for Children, which runs nine children’s centres in Dorset, said: “The first day at school is an anxious time, sometimes more so for parents. Our centres help parents to prepare children for their first year at school by giving them a place to play and to learn to make friends.”

Parents in the South West were asked what their main worry was about their eldest child starting school: 36 per cent said their child not making friends, 12 per cent said their child not asking for help when needed and five per cent said their child struggling with lessons.