Five-year-olds not ready for school

 

Thousands of five-year-olds are arriving at school with too limited a vocabulary to take part in lessons, a senior government adviser revealed today.

Even  some in high performing schools ion the leafier suburbs are struggling, Dr Liz Sidwell, the Government's Schools Commissioner, told a conference in London today.

Dr Sidwell, whose job means she advises ministers on tackling under-performance and its flagship academies programme, warned that one of the biggest problems was parents just not getting out of bed in the morning to send their children off to school.

“If your parents are lying in bed and don’t go to work, it is very difficult to get the children up on time” she said. “This is something we really can’t have.”

She revealed she had devised five golden rules for good parenting which she urged schools to pass on.

These were: get up in the morning, give your children some breakfast, send them off to school on time and make sure you talk to them during the day.

“How can we get these children to come to school on time if this is happening?” she said.  Even high achieving schools were affected.

“Children at five are coming in with lower and lower ability to get on with their work,” she added.

“At the moment children aren’t ready for school at five.”

Figures showed that five-year-olds from disadvantaged homes were likely to be at least a year behind in their vocabulary when they first started school.

In addition, 1.9 million schoolchildren came from workless homes.

Figures also showed that 700 primary schools failed to reach the Government’s minimum target of 60 per cent of pupils reaching the required standard in maths and English by the age of 11.

 Around 200 have failed to reach the minimum target for five years in succession.

Dr Sidwell,. speaking at a conference of the Forum of Independent Day Schools – made up of largely former direct grant schools who went independent when Labour introduced its comprehensive drive in the 1970’s rather than abandon selection, urge independent schools to sponsor local primary schools.

They need not part with cash but could pass on their expertise to the schools, she said.

Dr Sidwell also urged oversubscribed academies to consider introducing a lottery system to determine school admissions.

She said lotteries were popular with parents because they understood them as many of them did the lottery in their spare time.

Earlier, Toby Young, the journalist and founder of the West London free school, revealed his school used a lottery to help determine admissions to avoid middle class parents snapping up all the places by buying higher priced homes near the school.

The school allocated 45 per cent of places on proximity to it, the majority of the rest were viay amongst those who lives within a 1.5 mile radius of the school with a smaller number going via a separate lottery for those within three miles of the school.  In addition 10 per cent of places were for those children with musical aptitude.

Dr Sidwell also called for stiffer targets for secondary schools.  At present the minimum target is 35 per cent of pupils getting five or more A* to C grade passes including maths and English rising to 50 per cent by 2015.

“I believe there should be 80 per cent,” she said.  “We have a long way to go.”

Meanwhile a commission was launched today to examine the academies programme.  Chaired by former chief schools inspector Christine Gilbert, it will examine admissions policies and the use which academies are making of their freedom from local authority control.

Arts and Entertainment
Kirk Cameron is begging his Facebook fans to give him positive reviews
film
Sport
premier leagueMatch report: Arsenal 1 Man United 2
Arts and Entertainment
Jason goes on a special mission for the queen
tvReview: Everyone loves a CGI Cyclops and the BBC's Saturday night charmer is getting epic
Sport
Jonny May scores for England
rugby unionEngland 28 Samoa 9: Wing scores twice to help England record their first win in six
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Education

Randstad Education Cardiff: Maths Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: We are currently recruiting f...

Randstad Education Cardiff: Science Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Science Teacher -Full Time - ...

Randstad Education Cardiff: After School Club Worker

£40 - £45 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: The Job: Our client in the Newp...

Randstad Education Cardiff: English Teacher

£100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: Randstad Education Cardiff is...

Day In a Page

Terry Venables: Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back

Terry Venables column

Wayne Rooney is roaring again and the world knows that England are back
Michael Calvin: Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Abject leadership is allowing football’s age-old sores to fester

Those at the top are allowing the same issues to go unchallenged, says Michael Calvin
Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

You know that headache you’ve got?

Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

Scoot commute

Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

The Paul Robeson story

How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
10 best satellite navigation systems

Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

Paul Scholes column

England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

Frank Warren column

Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

'How do you carry on? You have to...'

The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

Sir John Major hits out at theatres

Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

Kicking Barbie's butt

How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines