One in four children starts school without the necessary language and communication skills

The BBC is reporting a study that suggests too many children – particularly those from poor backgrounds and deprived communities – are starting school in England unable to speak in simple sentences or control their behaviour…

The Early Intervention Foundation’s analysis found a fifth of children lacked the expected personal, social and emotional development by age five.

A quarter of children were unable to communicate at the level expected for their age, it added…

The report is based, in part, on analysis of the latest Early Years Foundation Stage profiles of children at the end of their Reception year…

The report also cited figures indicating large average differences in behaviour and emotional health between the poorest and richest children…

The foundation called for any baseline assessment to give the same weight to social, emotional and physical development as literacy and numeracy…

More at: Many young pupils ‘can’t communicate’


See more directly from the EIF at: Quarter of four-year-olds lack vital skills needed to flourish


The EIF is calling for a stronger focus on the poorest 20 per cent of families by health visitors, midwives and early years professionals to support parenting and the development of strong parent-child relationships. Your reactions? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…


Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin every morning (around 7 am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link!

'Pupils absence at record low,' figures show
Don't penalise us for helping struggling schools, heads tell Ofsted
Categories: Parenting.


  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Abolish parenthood! It’s heading that way and has been for a while. I get the impression that would be many MPs’ dream

  2. SchoolsImprove

    andylutwyche Yeah – it sometimes seems to be the logical extrapolation of lots of the studies coming out

  3. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Quite – the studies are all well and good but beyond “removing” infants from all parents what is the solution? There is none

  4. BehaviourA

    Time we stopped banging on about how many children ‘can’t do’ things and made proper plans for making sure they get the time and attention to teach them the skills they need to succeed in school, whatever their needs.

    According to Prof Barry Carpenter increasing numbers of children with very complex learning needs due to increasing survival rates for premature births and fetal alcohol syndrome heading in schools’ direction. This isn’t going to get any better.

  5. carol_ann_howe

    SchoolsImprove more EY places aren’t going to solve this. Reversing cuts to Speech/Lang therapy services just might.

  6. The Socialist Educational Association reports that “there are over 600 fewer Sure Start Centres now than in 2010”.  This may be part of the “one in four’ phenomenon.  But if one parent is to be at home with very young children – playing and talking with them – the other needs a decent wage to keep the family together.  And for single parents sufficient benefit support is needed.  Also the decline in community life is a factor.

Let us know what you think...