School readiness in London's children
Public Health England has published a report showing the level of ‘school readiness’ among London’s children.
In this report, school readiness is used as an indicator of how prepared a child is to succeed in school cognitively, socially and emotionally. School readiness is important because it has a strong impact on educational outcomes, participation in crime, health and mortality in later life. Children who do not achieve a good level of development struggle with social skills, reading, maths and physical skills.
Increasing physical activity is one of the strategies identified to improve school readiness because of its importance in early brain development, learning, movement and communication skills.
- In 2013/14, 39,5000 five year olds did not achieve a good level of development – approximately two in five children
- There is a wide variation in the proportion of children who are school ready across London.
- Approximately half of five year olds receiving free school meals did not achieve a good level of development.
- School readiness improved in all London boroughs between 2012/13 and 2013/14.
Other strategies that can be targeted during the early years to promote school readiness are good maternal mental health, learning activities, parenting support programmes and high-quality early education.