Social class and gender inequalities in reading ability among nine-year-olds in Ireland
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Given growing concerns about disengagement and lower achievement among boys from disadvantaged backgrounds, our research looks at the extent to which social class and gender differences in reading ability are evident by age nine. It explores whether these differences can be explained by how much children were read to by their parents, whether they attended centre-based care and the age they started primary school. The research also examines how differences at age nine relate to children’s earlier vocabulary development. Any inequalities by social class background or between girls and boys at this stage will have longer-term consequences for later engagement with learning and subsequent life chances.