It seems the trend is embedded and endemic. A pernicious culture of short-sightedness. Ofsted's chief inspector, Sir Michael Wilshaw said:
"More than two-thirds of our poorest children - and in some of our poorest communities that goes up to eight children out of 10 - go to school unprepared. That means they can't hold a pen, they have poor language and communication skills, they don't recognise simple numbers, they can't use the toilet independently and so on."Sir Michael added:
"The corollary of not preparing children well for school is that they don't do well in reception and, if they don't do well in reception, they don't get on at key stage one, they find it difficult to read at seven, they fail at the end of primary school and that failure continues into secondary school."And:
"When we talk about social mobility, rather than focus at the end of school, we should actually worry about what's happening at the very start of a child's life - the rot sets in early."In a speech launching Ofsted's first stand-alone report on early-years education, Sir Michael highlighted the gap between outcomes for children from disadvantaged backgrounds and youngsters from more affluent homes.
BBC here. Channel 4 here. Independent here. Daily Mail here.