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Worries about the school readiness of children

Family and Childcare Trust and NAHT have published their latest findings on children and school readiness, concluding that 'the government now needs to prioritise funding for support for families in the early years'.

  • Four fifths of respondents (83 per cent) to our survey said that they believed that there is an issue with the school readiness of some pupils starting school.

Of those that said there was an issue with school readiness, the key points were that:

  • 86 per cent believed the issue of school readiness has become worse over the past five years.
  • Almost a quarter (24 per cent) said that more than half of their intake was not school ready.
  • Speech, language and communication issues were of greatest concern with 97 per cent of respondents.
  • Two thirds (67 per cent) said one of the likely reasons children are not school ready is a failure to identify and support additional needs early enough.
  • 66 per cent said that parents had fewer available resources or that there are more pressures on family life.
  • To help improve school readiness, almost two thirds (61 per cent) of school leaders responded that they were using home visits prior to the child starting in reception and more than half (54 per cent) said that they were engaging with health and social care services.

Read the full report.

Liz Bayram, PACEY Chief Executive commented:

“We know that the vast majority of EY settings are good or outstanding according to Ofsted. These settings are providing all children's needs to be ready for school. Our work on this issue, in particular our Starting School Together programme, has shown that often the challenge isn’t that children are not ready for school but that schools are not ready for these young children.

“Better partnership working between schools, parents and EY settings in the months leading up to a child starting in reception as well as shared language and expectations are all key to ensuring a smooth transition. We should also remember that the EYFS runs up to and include the reception year. We should not expect children to be truly school ready until year 1.”