More than half of five-year-old boys are struggling to grasp basics such as reading and writing, it has been revealed.
Figures from the Department for Education show that 15.1 per cent of male youngsters cannot write their own name. This compares to 6.9 per cent of girls.
Furthermore, statistics show that 9.6 per cent are unable to say the letters of the alphabet, while nine per cent cannot do basic mathematics.
It was revealed that male pupils from poor backgrounds are even more likely to fall behind.
A spokesman for the Department for Education said: "It's good news that the number of young children reaching a good level of development has increased this year, and the professionals working hard to help raise standards in the early years should feel proud of their work."
Other figures published this week show that female students also outperform their male counterparts at GCSE level.