Children unable to talk properly when starting school at age four – Ofsted head

ITV is reporting that more and more children are starting school without being able to communicate properly or even use the toilet, the head of Ofsted is due to warn.

Amanda Spielman will use a speech to nursery leaders in London on Friday to highlight the rising number of youngsters who lack basic hygiene and language skills by the age of four.

She will urge nursery staff to play their part in helping children learn these skills – saying they can “make a world of difference”.

“We now have a situation where, aged four, some children have less than a third of the English vocabulary of their peers,” she will tell members of the Pre-School Learning Alliance.

“These children arrive at school without the words they need to communicate properly. Just imagine the disadvantage they face, right from the start.”

Mrs Spielman will also highlight a recent study which found 70% of schools reported more children starting school without being toilet trained compared to five years ago.

Describing this skill as a “simple, but necessary, expectation” for four-year-olds, she will describe how a lack of toilet training can not only be disruptive for teachers, but can also have a negative effect on a child as they start school.

The Ofsted head will say children starting their first year of school should also be able to sit still and listen, understand the words “no” and “stop”, and be able to put on their own shoes and coat.

Read more Children unable to talk properly when starting school at age four – Ofsted head

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  1. Anonymous

    Everyone agrees that all children with the exception of those with a medical condition should be toilet trained by 4 but sitting still is a challenge for a lot of children at that age. Don’t forget some of these children are just 4 years old and we should remember that we as a country are sending children to school at a much younger age than most other countries. Boys in particular find it difficult to sit still for long periods and are often only really starting to get this at age 6.

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