Early language skills ‘key to later success’
Some 23% of children who struggled with language at age five also did not reach the expected standard in their Sats (national tests) in English at age 11, the study found.
Under government plans, from 2017 children who do not pass these tests will have to re-sit them in their first year in secondary school.
Gareth Jenkins, from Save the Children, says the research demonstrates for the first time the most crucial determinant of success in Sats tests is how well children can communicate when they start school.
The poorest children are more likely to start school without simple skills, such as being able to tell a short story, express feelings and communicate easily with a wide range of adults
The charity says the research should prompt a national debate about how to drive up the quality of nursery provision.