State of Education survey report 2016 - Page 20

Comments: It’s concerning to see school leaders report that so many children are starting primary school without the skills they need. Parents play a crucial role in supporting their child’s early language and communication development, but many lack confidence in how to support their child’s early learning. 20 Early years practitioners can provide valuable guidance to parents and help families to build rich home-learning environments. The National Literacy Trust’s Early Words Together programme brings together practitioners and volunteers to engage and empower parents with ideas, tools and confidence to support their children’s development, which has a positive impact on their school readiness." Clare McGread, Head of Communities and Early Years, National Literacy Trust State of Education Survey 2016 | It is deeply worrying that this survey highlights the extent to which children are arriving at school without the expected level of speech, language and communication skills. The findings show the fundamental impact that these skills have on school-readiness and ultimately, pupils’ life chances. School leaders have identified delayed speech specifically as a barrier to school-readiness, but also highlight a range of other issues which depend heavily on a foundation of strong communication skills: resilience, social skills, literacy and numeracy. Policy and practice which recognise and support the development of communication skills from the very earliest years, are vital to ensuring all children can achieve their full potential at school and beyond. The Communication Trust is committed to working with partners like The Key to make this a reality." Octavia Holland, Director, The Communication Trust Find further comment at