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Asking the premature question

Children born prematurely are at higher risk of learning difficulties, yet research suggests schools have little training in or understanding of the challenges such pupils may face. With survival rates for preterm babies increasing thanks to advances in medical science, Helen Amass talks to the experts to discover whether a school knowing a child was born preterm is useful, and, if it is, what interventions may be appropriate if challenges in learning do occur

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James* had a tough start: he was born prematurely, at 33 weeks of gestation, and spent the first 10 weeks of his life in a neonatal intensive care unit.

But James was lucky, too: by the age of 4, he was developing well and showing no signs of any of the difficulties that can be associated with a preterm birth.

And so his parents faced a difficult decision when the time came to send him to school. Should they let the school know about his difficult start to life?

“My husband definitely feels that unless there are specific learning problems, the school does not need to be informed, as it may ...

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