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article imageSchool-age children ill-prepared for school

By Tim Sandle     Aug 17, 2015 in Lifestyle
London - A new report, issued by Public Health England, suggests that to succeed in school, children need to be at a certain level cognitively, socially and emotionally.
In London, reports from different schools suggest two out of every five children are not at a suitable level to succeed. This equates to about 40,000 children. In the U.K. children start school at the age of five, and the government expects children to start at a certain level of development.
Going deeper into these figures, it seems that boys are more likely than girls not to possess the necessary social skills to begin starting school. There is also a connection with family income, with children from families on incomes around the poverty line having social skills below the required threshold.
It is due to some children not possessing what is termed “a good level of development” that a call for action had been made. The types of actions that can be taken include ensuing that mothers have good maternal health, making sure parents engage in learning activities with their children (such as speaking their babies and reading with their children); enhancing physical activity through play; and encouraging parents to practice high quality early education. The report states that some of these can be achieved with stronger parenting support programs.
Commenting on these measures, Dr Yvonne Doyle, regional director for Public Health England London, stated: “The first 5 years of a child’s life, the foundation years, are absolutely critical; healthy early child development is fundamental to school readiness, which can have a major impact on a child’s life chances.”
In light of this, the new report outlines:
The importance of school readiness,
The economic case for investing in school readiness,
A descriptive analysis of school readiness in London,
A summary of the evidence of what works to improve school readiness in order to facilitate improvements in service planning and delivery.
The report authors state that children without an appropriate level of development will struggle with literacy, numeracy, physical and social skills.
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