Disadvantaged children fall one year behind their peers educationally by age 3

Children from disadvantaged backgrounds are already up to a year behind more privileged youngsters educationally by the age of three, according to a study published today.

The study by the Centre for Longitudinal Studies at the Institute of Education found the children of graduates were 10 months ahead of those with the least-educated parents when it came to vocabulary.

A “school readiness” assessment, measuring understanding of colours, letters, sizes and shapes found a 12 month gap between the two groups.

A quarter of the black Caribbean and black African children who took the readiness assessment were delayed in their development, compared with 4 per cent of white children.  And Bangladeshi and Pakistani three-year-olds recorded relatively low scores on both tests.

A second study published by the institute today reveals that one in four three-year-olds is either overweight or obese. And a third study by the institute suggests 72 per cent of children with single parents have been growing up in poverty.

The reports are part of the Millennium Cohort Study, which is tracking more than 15,500 children born in 2000-2.

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 Simeon Brody


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