Pupils unable to read is ‘a scandal’, says minister

By Hannah Richardson for BBC News

It is a “scandal” that some children start school unable to speak in full sentences, Education Secretary Damian Hinds has said in a speech.

And if children reach Year 1 unable to read simple words, they rarely catch up, “the gap just widens”, he said.

He has pledged to halve the number of pupils starting school behind in early talking and reading skills by 2028.

A group of companies and charities have been brought together to work out how best to support families in England.

Educational researchers have long said that social mobility – or the lack of it – starts at home with what’s known as the home learning environment.

The idea is that a home with a lot of books and other early learning materials, plus engaged parents giving their children quality time, talking with them and teaching them how to make letter sounds, for example, provides a good start.

But not all parents feel able to offer this kind of home environment or realize the importance of it.

‘Not lecturing parents’

Researchers from the Education Policy Institute last week said the development gap between England’s poorest pupils, and the others, was already at 4.3 months in the early years.

Read more here.

Reading is essential to all learning.  Let Reading Kingdom help your child learn to read.  Sign up today for a free 30 day trial.