The Telegraph is reporting a new survey of teachers that suggests children are starting school without the speech and language skills needed to begin learning in the classroom.
The poll suggests that the language gap could be dragging down school results, with children finding it hard to catch up after they have fallen behind.
According to the survey by Save the Children – part of the Read On. Get On. coalition – three quarters of primary schoolteachers reported seeing children aged four to five arriving in Reception unable to speak in full sentences, while 65 per cent said some children started school unable to follow simple instructions.
The poll of more than 500 teachers from across the UK highlights the importance of preschool education, with nearly four in five teachers suggesting that more investment in early years education would improve results.
Only 15 per cent of teachers said they felt the Government’s current level of investment was adequate.
Gareth Jenkins, director of UK Poverty at Save the Children, said it was time the Government recognised that nursery education was just as important to a child’s development as mainstream school.
“Without investment to improve nursery quality we’ll continue to see schools struggling to support the 1 in 4 children who arrive at their gates without the basic language and communication skills needed to read, learn and succeed at in the classroom,” he said.
“The poorest children fall the furthest behind in communication, with 1 in 3 children on free school meals reaching age 5 without good language skills. Read On. Get On. evidence has shown that improving nursery quality has the biggest impact on helping the poorest catch up …”
See more on this directly from Save the Children at: Teachers Poll: Children start school struggling to speak in full sentences
Clearly a poll to support greater investment in pre-school education but what do you make of the findings?
Are you surprised at the suggestion that children are starting in reception unable to speak in full sentences, or has it ever been thus?
Please give us your reactions in the comments or via Twitter…
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