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Disturbing Report Reveals Some Kids Entering Elementary School Post-Lockdown Can’t Even Say Their Own Names

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It has been reported that lockdowns and isolation have stunted the behavior of many children and now we’re beginning to see what that looks like.

While this issue of children being unprepared for school has been a growing problem in the United Kingdom for years, the pandemic response including lockdowns appears to have exacerbated the situation to unfathomable levels.

A poll of educators on YouGov by an early years charity called Kindred Squared found that the number of students entering kindergarten who were not ready for school had gone from 35% in 2019 to 46% in 2020.

One teacher from West Yorkshire told the survey that at her school it was much higher, “We always have a significantly high proportion of children who are not school-ready — about half. This year it’s probably 80 to 90 percent.”

The Monday preview of the Times Education Commission Report included some absolutely stunning revelations from educators in the UK about the lack of development of many of the 4- and 5-year-old children entering elementary school.

A head teacher from Nottinghamshire said that her school spent little time on literacy or numeracy in reception [Kindergarten] because it had to focus on basic care. Some four and five-year-old children joined reception class unable to say their own names and having drunk only from baby bottles. One child was brought to school in a shopping trolley.

She told the commission: “We’ve got about 50 per cent of the children in reception and nursery who are not toilet-trained. We have to employ care workers just to change nappies [diapers]. We’ve got children who are still drinking from bottles with teats when they start school. They are four years old and their language will include the word ‘bot-bot’, because that’s their communication for ‘Can I have a drink please?’

“We’re seeing children coming in still on baby food. We had one child arrive having had 14 teeth removed. I have a parent who brings their child to school in a shopping trolley because it’s the cheapest mode of transport.”

Another head teacher, in Cumbria, said children were starting school still using dummies [pacifiers] and some were brought to school in buggies [strollers] until they were six or seven because they were easier to contain. The school runs parenting classes and adult literacy lessons to address barriers to learning.

Evidence suggests that nearly a third of five-year-olds in England are not reaching a good level of development and deprived pupils are almost five months academically behind richer classmates by the time they start school. This gap widens to 18 months by the age of 16.
Source: The Times UK (Emphasis added)

As a parent, this is simply incomprehensible.

While the lockdown has certainly had an effect, there is some parental responsibility at play here, too.

Felicity Gillespie the Director of Kindred Squared, the charity that conducted the YouGov poll of educators, said, “One child I heard about needed intensive physiotherapy because they didn’t have the strength in their legs to walk the amount they needed to at school. Some children spend so much time in front of the TV they’re physically not developing their muscle tone.”

“We are parenting in so many different ways,” said the teacher from Nottinghamshire, “I need to do an assembly on eating with a knife and fork because the children will eat a full Sunday dinner with their hands. We’re not teaching them to write their names, we’re teaching them to scribble.”

How can parents do this to their own children?

Sure, many parents were stressed during the pandemic and had to juggle working from home and caring for children, but to allow small children to just sit in front of the TV for so long that their muscles don’t develop? I’ll go out on a limb and call that abuse.

The recommendation is intervention by the government to make sure that kids are being prepared for school in the same way that proper nutrition is promoted. It will encourage parents to play with and read to their children. Let’s hope they have better success than governments have had with healthy eating campaigns.

It also calls for more education for parents, home visits by state officials on children, and “drop-in centres” presumably to assess children’s development, though the details are not included in the preview.

Still, even the best and most engaged of parents have some struggles to overcome.

One study of over 600 babies in Rhode Island shows that those born during the pandemic are reaching cognitive milestones later than those born pre-pandemic.

…a UK government report on the current state of education in the UK found that young children saw their development stall or even regress over lockdown, with social skills, in particular, taking the biggest hit as a result of infants being locked indoors.

“Today’s report finds that the pandemic has continued to affect young children’s communication and language development, with many providers noticing delays in speech and language,” the state report read.

“Others said babies have struggled to respond to basic facial expressions, which may be due to reduced social interaction during the pandemic,” it continued, while also describing some babies as struggling to crawl and walk while many infants had “regressed in their independence and self-care skills” over lockdown.
Source: Breitbart News

And it isn’t just the UK, the United States and Germany have seen similar disparities in children’s development compared to pre-pandemic standards, particularly with regard to literacy.

It is unforgivable what has been done to children during this pandemic.

K. Walker

ClashDaily's Associate Editor since August 2016. Self-described political junkie, anti-Third Wave Feminist, and a nightmare to the 'intersectional' crowd. Mrs. Walker has taken a stand against 'white privilege' education in public schools. She's also an amateur Playwright, former Drama teacher, and staunch defender of the Oxford comma. Follow her humble musings on Twitter: @TheMrsKnowItAll and on Gettr @KarenWalker