Are children in the UK not reaching their full potential?

Society and bad parenting blamed for lack of British children’s development


Children in England are not achieving their full potential as they fail to reach basic levels of literacy or social and emotional development, a professor has warned.


England’s children are behind in terms of child development compared to the rest of Europe, according to Professor Sir Michael Marmot, director at UCL Institute of Health Equity.

Despite 59% of children having a good level of development at aged 5, an increase from the previous year, it is still too low and has led Sir Michael to share his concerns.

“You think to yourself, how can it possibly be the case that 41% of children across the country are thought not to have a good level of child development?” said Sir Michael.

“How can that possibly be right? The fact is it could be right. We do really, really badly on international comparisons, really badly,” Sir Michael added.

Sir Micheal wrote into the Daily Telegraph revealing that out of 65 countries, the UK is ranked 25th for reading, 28th for maths and 16th for science. “Societies and individuals need more than high functioning elites, they need high averages to be healthy and functioning well. We are failing our children on a grand scale,” he wrote.

While England’s society is being blamed for failing children, Sir Micheal believes that bad quality parenting could also be the problem. According to him, cuddling, playing, talking, reading, and generally loving children has a huge influence on a child’s early development.

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