London, Sept 28 (ANI): Four-in-10 children struggle to read basic words at the age of six amid concerns over standards of early education, a study has found.
Figures published for the first time show that 40 percent 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 held this summer, revealed that boys are already slipping far behind girls in terms of their ability to accurately decode a list of 40 words, the Telegraph reported.
White British boys from the poorest backgrounds officially performed worse than any group, other than those from gypsy and traveller families.
Just 37 percent 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.
“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,” Elizabeth Truss, the Education Minister, said. (ANI)