Boys twice as likely to need learning support

New research has found that boys are more likely thank girls to need additional support in school.

The study, which focused on children aged eight, showed that nearly one in five boys (18%) need extra learning support, compared to just 8% of girls.

Overall, the research, from social research body ScotCen’s Growing Up In Scotland survey, found that 13% of Scottish eight-year-olds have an additional support need, as reported by their parents.

Coinciding with Learning Disability Awareness week, the study also showed that children from low income families are more likely to have support needs – 17% of children from low income families compared to just 9% of children from the wealthiest backgrounds.

The results showed that, of the 13%:

  • 28% have a speech problems
  • 24% have a learning disability
  • 23% have social or behavioural problems
  • 22% have dyslexia
  • 16% have an autism spectrum disorder

Paul Bradshaw, head of longitudinal surveys at ScotCen, said: “The findings show that a significant proportion of today’s youngsters are in need of additional support from an early age.

“The challenges they face are varied, aren’t always straightforward to manage and it’s likely that they’ll have a significant impact on their adult lives, so it’s important that every effort is made to provide this support where possible.

“The earlier extra support for children’s development is identified and delivered the more likely it is they’ll succeed throughout childhood and into adolescence.”

View the full report here.