The Telegraph is reporting claims from a minister that too many children are starting school unable to write simple sentences, count to 20 and even use the toilet because of poor standards of early education…
Sam Gyimah, the Childcare Minister, said “more must be done” to ensure five-year-olds are fully prepared for the demands of compulsory schooling.
The comments were made as figures showed four-in-10 infants were not properly developed at the end of the reception year this summer – just before entering the first full year of primary education.
Statistics showed significant improvements over the last 12 months, with 60 per cent of children meeting the expected standards compared with 52 per cent in 2013.
Mr Gyimah said “some progress” was being made but insisted the rate of improvement was too slow.
A major gender gap is emerging by the age of five, figures showed, with just 52 per cent of boys deemed to be prepared for school compared with 69 per cent of girls.
According to the Department for Education:
• Only 59 per cent of boys reached the appropriate level in literacy, meaning they can “write simple sentences” and read aloud accurately. This compared with 74 per cent of girls;
• Some 68 per cent of boys had met the expected standard in maths, giving them the ability to count from one to 20, add and subtract two single-digit numbers and solve problems involving halving and sharing. Among girls, 77 per cent had reached the level;
• Boys were twice as likely to be fall below physical development targets intended to measure their ability to hold a pencil, dress independently and use the toilet. Some 20 per cent of boys were not properly developed compared with just nine per cent of girls.
In a further development, the figures showed a continuing gulf between rich and poor areas, with only 53 per cent of children in deprived communities considered to be reaching the standards in all areas compared with 65 per cent of their peers.
The data relates to performance in the Early Years Foundation Stage – a pre-school “curriculum” that all nurseries and childminders are supposed to follow…
More (including reaction from Neil Leitch) at: Four-in-10 children ‘not ready for school’ at the age of five
Were Sam Gyimah’s comments reasonable in view of the significant improvements that have been made, or is he right to insist that progress needs to be quicker? Please give us your feedback in the comments or via Twitter…
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