Research was published yesterday which indicates that children born prematurely are likely to have poorer reading and maths skills than those born at full term. The research also suggests that difficulties experienced at school can have effects into adulthood.
The results come from a study conducted by Professor Dieter Wolke, at the University of Warwick, which looked at data from four long term studies of children in Germany.
The research also suggests that more research is needed into whether delaying entry into school can make a positive difference for children born prematurely.
Bliss Chief Executive Caroline Davey said: “We know from previous research that children born prematurely are at greater risk of behavioural and learning difficulties, and we think it is absolutely essential that, as this research suggests, children born prematurely should have more support when starting school, and that teachers should be adequately trained to deal with these children’s needs.
“However, we continue to believe that it is up to parents to decide if it is right for their child to delay starting school. Every child born prematurely has different needs based on a range of factors, and while one child may be ready to start school with their peers, another may not. Our evidence supports this, and we are confident that with the right care at birth and support throughout their development, children born premature can reach their full potential.”
For parents who would like to know more about delaying their child’s school start, information and support is available here.