Late-preterm babies 'need better educational help'

Children born in between the 32nd and 36th weeks of pregnancy are less likely to succeed in their first national educational tests.

New research from the University of Bristol has found that the babies born during this period have a 71 per cent success rate in reading, writing and mathematics at the key stage one level comma compared to 79 per cent of full term babies who achieve the targets.

These premature babies account for 82 per cent of all early births in the UK and six per cent of the total number of pregnancies.

The study's lead author Dr Philip Peacock said given the prevalence of these late-preterm children more needs to be done to help them achieve the same educational targets as other youngsters.

"We recommend children born late-preterm receive a 'school readiness' and educational assessment prior to starting school to help identify potential learning problems," he added.

According to Bliss, around 54,000 premature babies are born prematurely in England each year.

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Late-preterm babies 'need better educational help'
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