Yet another study has been completed by the ‘Read On, Get On’ campaign, looking at infant language skills. (You can read the full report here; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-33286767)
The results of this research are not good! It states that 4 out of 10 of the poorest boys enter the education system ‘without the skills they need to learn’. Unsurprisingly those children who are 15 months behind at 5 may never catch up – a scary thought, but nothing new to those who work in the education system, see evidence of it year on year and spend their time desperately trying to think of ways to help those children close that gap.
What I find amazing is the quote from the Department of Education saying “Raising reading standards is a key part of our plan for education.” This quote from a government who are not only closing down libraries but cutting back on library services, not only locally but also school library services, which offer an invaluable service to schools. Do not even get me started on primary school libraries. Surely this contradicts their statement about raising reading standards and their actual commitment to this statement!
The report states that ‘early language skills are a vital stepping stone in learning to read’ and acknowledges the fact that some children, from poorer backgrounds, are not experiencing the wealth of language needed to give them that first step towards reading. It stops short of pointing the finger at parents but puts the responsibility yet again on nursery practitioners and teachers.