LONDON, November 29—There has been a steep decline in the number of people training to become early years teachers, new government figures show. Data released on Thursday shows that only 365 people are embarking on the course – a drop of a third since last year, and a decrease of 84% since 2013/14. At the same time, new government figures show two in five (43%) children in poverty in England were unable to speak in full sentences, follow basic instructions and express themselves in their first year of primary school. Official figures reveal a dramatic and persistent gulf between rich and poor. One in four (26%) better-off children are struggling with basic skills at the age of five, meaning there is a 17-percentage point gap between poorer children and their peers across England. This gap has widened slightly since last year (by 0.3%) for the first time in four years. One of the key ways to help children catch up is high-quality childcare. Yet the number of people obtaining a key qu..
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