In November 2021, Kindred2 commissioned YouGov to conduct our second annual ‘school readiness’ survey of school professionals. Almost a thousand primary school teachers and staff responded. They reported that on average, 50% of all children are not ready to start school. 88% of primary school teachers and teaching assistants reported having to spend additional time with those not achieving their developmental milestones, with the result that they have less time for the rest of the children in their class.

In addition, 90% of teachers surveyed had at least one child in their class who is not toilet trained and 91% of teachers surveyed had at least one child in their class who doesn’t have basic language skills (i.e. cannot say their name, answer questions, etc.) 97% of teachers surveyed had at least one child in their class who doesn’t know how to listen/ respond to simple instructions.

Felicity Gillespie, Director at Kindred2 said: “The YouGov survey suggesting half our children are starting their school journey at such a disadvantage is shocking, particularly as we know what an impact being behind at this point has on later life chances. Mental health, literacy, earning potential are all being impacted. Many will blame parents but we all want the best for our children and teachers say what isn’t being made clear enough to parents is what being developmentally ready for school actually means. We need a new national conversation about parenting and the state’s role in our children’s development – one that reflects the irrefutable scientific proof that brain development pre-school is as important as school-based education.”

The full report is available here.

The November 2020 report is available here.