Wealthy children more than a year ahead when they start school

16th January 2016 at 09:54
Huge attainment gap at start of school

Children from the wealthiest parts of Scotland are already 14 months ahead of their peers from poorer neighbourhoods when they start school, according to research involving almost 20,000 children.

The Performance Indicators in Primary Schools (Pips) figures on P1 children, who usually start aged 5, also shows that progress in school over that year varies widely depending on which school a child goes to, by as much as 12 months for reading and 14 months for maths.

Save the Children’s head of Scotland, Neil Mathers, was shocked by the “gaping chasm” in educational development between children from the most and least deprived areas.

“Too many of these children will start school struggling to learn and never catch up,” said Mr Mathers, who called for investment in the early years to narrow this “inexcusable gap”.

The figures were published quietly on the same day that first minister Nicola Sturgeon confirmed her government would press ahead with controversial plans for standardised testing in P1, P4, P7 and S3. The tests are designed to kick-start efforts to close the achievement gap.

They will be introduced in 2017 after pilots later this year and, according to Ms Sturgeon, will “provide better and more consistent data about our children’s performance than we have ever had before”.

Want to keep up with the latest education news and opinion? Follow TES on Twitter and like TES on Facebook

Comments

Related Content

Get Tes online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to Tes online and the Tes app for just £1.90 per week.
 
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off Tes Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the Tes online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order today