Warning that boys could be left behind by language skills ‘gender gap’

The Daily Mail is reporting that boys are almost twice as likely as girls to be falling behind in their language skills by the time they start school, putting their chances of being successful in life at risk, according to a report.

The study, by Save The Children, warns that unless action is taken to ensure all youngsters have access to good quality early education, then almost a million more young boys could be left behind in the next 10 years.

“The gender gap is well-documented,” the study says, “It has hardly changed for five-year-olds over the past decade, despite a dramatic improvement in overall results.

“The difference in outcomes for boys and girls is having a devastating impact; nearly a million boys have fallen behind with their early language skills since 2006.”

The study, which draws on official data and analysis of the Millennium Cohort Study, calculates that those who are not reaching the expected level at age five are four times more likely to be lagging behind in reading by the end of primary school.

Gareth Jenkins, of Save The Children said: “Every child deserves the best start in life. But in England, too many children, especially boys, are slipping under the radar without the support they need to reach their potential.

“They’re falling behind before they even get to school and that puts their life chances at risk. In 2016, this is unacceptable. A whole generation of boys is being failed.”

More at: Warning that boys could be left behind by language skills ‘gender gap’

What factors could have caused this difference in language skills between the genders? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on Twitter. ~ Nellie

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