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12th April 2012 Publication of Assessing Neuromotor Readiness for Learning

Based on more than 18 years of research and practice in schools in the United Kingdom, Germany, Hungary, Mexico and other parts of the world, and previously a restricted publication only available through training, the INPP school programme became available to all professionals involved in education or child development from the 12th April 2012.

The publication contains two simple screening tests to identify signs of neuromotor immaturity in school-aged children, together with an intervention (physical movement) programme designed to be used in schools.

Neuromotor readiness describes a range of physical skills including control of balance, posture and coordination, which are essential to support the ability to sit still, coordinate the hand and eyes when writing, control the eye movements needed for reading and aligning columns correctly in arithmetic, and the body control involved in succeeding at games in the playground and on the sports field.

Until thirty-five years ago, all children in the United Kingdom were seen by a school doctor at the time of school entry.  Simple tests were carried out to assess a child’s balance, motor skills, vision and hearing.  These tests were phased out in the mid-1980’s with the result that there is now no national screening programme to identify children who might be “at risk” of under-achieving as a direct result of immaturity in the motor skills needed to support learning in the classroom.

Research carried out in schools in the United Kingdom and Europe over the last 12 years has revealed that a significant number of children in mainstream schools show signs of immature motor skills, with the incidence being higher amongst children already identified with a specific learning difficulty or speech and language delay, and that there is a relationship between immature motor skills and educational under-achievement.  Research has also shown that the introduction of a specific daily movement programme into schools can improve motor skills.

It is hardly surprising that children fail to achieve expected levels in literacy and numeracy if they enter the school system lacking the tools needed to support learning.  While good teaching and a general supportive learning environment are also key elements for educational success, until children’s education also takes into account children’s physical abilities and nurtures the physical foundations for learning, children will continue to fail within the education system.  This important new publication is a first step to addressing this problem.

The Book

The manual is organized into three sections:

1.            Screening tests for children age 4-7 years

2.            Screening tests for children from 7 years of age.

3.            Developmental movement programme designed for use with whole classes or smaller groups over the course of one academic year. Publication is supported by online access to INPP video training materials.

About the Author

Sally Goddard Blythe is Director of The Institute for Neuro-Physiological Psychology

(INPP). She is the author of several books and published papers on child development

and neuro-developmental factors in specific learning difficulties, including Reflexes,

Learning and Behaviour (2002), The Well Balanced Child (2003), What Babies and

Children Really Need (2008), Attention, Balance and Coordination – the A.B.C. of Learning Success (Wiley-Blackwell, 2009), The Genius of Natural Childhood (2011) and the Screening Test for Physicians (2012) or 01244 311414

Reviews / Features / Interviews

For further information, or to request a review copy, please contact: or call Kathy on 01865 476699.

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