Thousands of children are not ready for school by the age of five, it has been claimed.
According to child development expert Sally Goddard Blythe, many parents are too busy to interact with their children and help them to build the communication and physical skills they need to succeed in the classroom.
"It's alarming the proportion of children with immature motor skills when they start school, regardless of intelligence," she commented.
"A significant percentage of children have problems they don't need to have. They seem to have missed out on early stages of development."
In her new book, The Genius of Natural Childhood, Ms Goddard Blythe notes that children can improve their motor skills though traditional games and "rough and tumble play".
In related news, a recent study by the National Literacy Trust revealed that one in three children own no books of their own, with boys even less likely to have access to books at home.
Posted by Andrew Bryant