A secondary school in Manchester is putting the results...
- Education Professionals
Four-in-10 children 'struggle to read basic words'
Figures published for the first time show that 40% of pupils – almost 240,000 – fail to achieve the expected standard in reading after a year of school.
Data from the Department for Education – based on a new-style test sat this summer – revealed that boys are already slipping far behind girls in terms of their ability to accurately decode a list of 40 words.
White British boys from the poorest backgrounds officially performed worse than any group, other than those from gypsy and traveller families. Just 37% of these children reached the standard expected of their age group.
The disclosure will raise concerns that some groups of children – particularly boys – are being failed in the early years. It comes just a week after Sats results showed that more than 20,000 boys finished primary school this summer with the reading age of a seven-year-old or worse.
Experts claim that a lack of male role models at home and school may be turning boys off reading at a young age.
But ministers insisted the new assessment would enable schools to pick out pupils falling behind at the start of compulsory education – giving them targeted catch-up lessons.
Elizabeth Truss, the Education Minister, said: “The reading check helps teachers identify those pupils who need extra help in learning to read. Many thousands of children will now receive the extra support they need to develop a love of reading.”