Many new pupils not school ready, headteachers say

Posted by AfC Policy and campaigns / Wednesday 06 September 2017 / Early intervention

Kate Mulley, policy and campaigns director at Action for Children, said:

"Sadly, as they walk into school for their first day this week, nearly half of children from low-income families will already be on the back foot.

"Our children’s services across the country are seeing more and more five year olds who are unable to dress themselves, use the toilet, eat their lunch without help or make themselves understood. This disadvantage will be difficult for them to overcome as they progress through school and into adult life.

"Without real leadership and a rethinking of how we invest in the earliest years, this cycle of deprivation and inequality will continue for generations to come."




05-Sep-2017 02:45:01

By Alison Kershaw, Press Association Education Correspondent

Page 1

Many children are not ready to start school when they first enter a classroom, a poll of headteachers suggests.

It suggests that many leaders believe that "school readiness" has become worse in recent years, with some claiming that more than half of new pupils are not ready to take part in lessons.

The findings come as children head back to school for the start of the new academic year.
The National Association of Head Teachers (NAHT), which co-commissioned the poll, said they want extra money for education, including the early years, as well as more investment in services for families.
Ministers have said that school funding is at its highest level, and in July, Education Secretary Justine Greening announced an extra £1.3 billion for schools over the next two years.

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

Around a quarter (24%) said that more than half of their intake was not school ready.
Asked to rank the issues causing concern, children's speech, language and communication was found to be causing greatest concern, followed by personal, social and emotional development, such as behaviour issues, and physical development.

School leaders were also asked the likely reasons why children are not school ready.

Failure to identify and support children's additional needs was the most popular answer among those that answered the question, followed by parents having less resources and pressure on family life, and then reductions in local services to support families.

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."

:: The poll questioned 780 school leaders in England, Wales and Northern Ireland in June and July.

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