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5-year-olds with poor language skills significantly more likely to struggle with English and Maths at 11, new study suggests

Five year-olds with poor language skills are significantly more likely to struggle with English and Maths at 11, a new Save the Children study suggests. Out of 5,000 children studied, 21% who struggled with language at the beginning of school failed to meet the expected standards in national tests when they left. Results were consistent, regardless of family background.

  • The research demonstrates the most crucial determinant of success in SATs tests is how well children can communicate at the start of school
  • The poorest children are more likely to start school without simple skills, such as being able to tell a short story, express feelings and communicate easily with adults
  • From 2017, children who do not pass SATs will have to re-sit them in the first year of secondary school.

The charity says the most important thing is to see every nursery led by an early years graduate teacher because research shows that this helps improve the quality of the activities.

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