Too many children are starting school lacking the basic skills needed to access full-time education, Ofsted has warned. More than a third of five-year-olds are struggling to communicate – or understand the basics of reading and writing – because of key failures in early years care, it was revealed. This is from the Telegraph…
In its annual report, the watchdog said that record numbers of young children – some 96 per cent – were currently in some form of pre-school education.
But it warned that “significant weaknesses” remain in terms of how well providers use the Government’s early years curriculum to “prepare children for school”.
In a damning conclusion, it was claimed that children from the poorest fifth of homes were on average 19 months behind wealthier classmates in their use of vocabulary by the age of five.
The gulf between rich and poor was wider than in most other major English-speaking nations, it was revealed.
The report insisted that improvements in standards of early education witnessed since 2008 had “levelled off” this year, with childminders being more likely to provide substandard care than formal nurseries.
A Government review published earlier this year suggested that all staff working with young children should be required to hold a relevant qualification to A-level standard. But Ofsted insisted that the “10-year timescale for implementing this is unambitious”.
“It is longer than the time that most children spend in the whole of their early years and primary school education,” said Ofsted.