Boys are slipping further behind girls after just two years of primary school. Official figures from the Department of Children, Schools and Families reveal they’re behind in English, maths and science by the age of seven and the gender gap is widening.
The biggest difference is widest in writing, with over 85% of girls reaching the standard expected for their age, compared with 75% of boys. Girls also pulled ahead in maths and science. Research has shown that youngsters who don’t do well at primary school are more likely to struggle with their GCSEs and less likely to progress onto university.
A lack of male teachers has been blamed for the poor performance of boys, but boys are also known to be late starters. “It takes time and energy from both parents and teachers to make changes, “ said Schools Minister Diana Johnson. “You need focused, long-term support to get improvement over time.”