The challenges facing Welsh professionals in secondary teaching jobs have once again been highlighted with new research showing that around four in ten youngsters leave primary school with a reading age well below their real age.
According to the latest report issued by the schools inspection body Estyn, standards of literacy and numeracy across Wales remain lower than should be expected, with no marked improvements seen over the past couple of years.
Notably, the report warns that, of those pupils that do enter secondary school with a reading age below that of a nine-year-old, many never catch up, thereby finding themselves trapped in a cycle of underachievement.
Commenting, Estyn chief inspector Ann Keane called on those working in primary teaching jobs to be given the resources they need to give pupils of all abilities the attention they need as individuals.
"Most classes are 'mixed ability' so it's very important to plan different approaches with different groups of pupils in these classes and to track the progress of individual pupils carefully," she said.