More primary children starting school ‘lacking basic skills’

iNews reports that more children are turning up to school lacking basic physical and communication skills to take part in classroom activities than at any other time in the last five years, according to a poll of headteachers.

School leaders have warned that primary pupils arriving at school lacking the required language and communication skills to join in lessons. The survey of heads also found that children did not have the emotional or even the physical development expected of children of their age.

The poll of 780 school leaders, conducted in partnership with the Family and Childcare Trust, found that 83 per cent of those questioned thought there was an issue with school readiness, and of these, 86 per cent thought the issue had worsened in the last five years.

Around a quarter (24 per cent) said that more than half of their intake was not school ready.

The National Association of Head Teachers, which commissioned the survey, blamed wider cuts to public services, particularly in early years for the drop off in children’s basic skills.

Paul Whiteman, NAHT general secretary said: “We want to see extra money for education, including early education before children start school, and renewed investment in critical services for families.

“Without proper investment, the youngest and most vulnerable in our society will be starting off behind, with uncertain chances of catching up.”

High quality early education Ellen Broomé, Chief Executive of the Family and Childcare Trust, added: “There is strong evidence that early education can help to boost children’s outcomes and narrows the gap between disadvantaged children and their peers – but only if it is high quality.

Read more More primary children starting school ‘lacking basic skills’

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