ONE in five of the 3,000 children who do not go straight into the first year of primary when they are eligible have special educational needs, a Scottish Executive census on pre-school education centres has revealed.
More than six out of ten (63 per cent) of deferred entrants are boys. Of 89,000 three and four-year-olds in pre-school centres, 2,800 had special educational needs. Sixteen per cent of these had a record of needs and a further 17 per cent were being assessed.
The census taken last September in 2,213 centres, 60 per cent o which were run by a local authority, shows 57,000 children were in their pre-school year and 28,000 in their ante pre-school year.
Around 1,570 qualified teachers work in the sector with 85 per cent based in council-run centres. Of the 7,200 staff in all centres, 22 per cent were registered with the General Teaching Council. A further 58 per cent had qualifications in child care and education. Only 1 per cent of staff are men.
More than three-quarters of all children in pre-school centres attend for five half days a week.