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Late preterm and early term children: the early years at school
  1. Neil Marlow
  1. Correspondence to Professor Neil Marlow, UCL EGA Institute for Women's Health, 74 Huntley Street, London WC1E 6AU, UK; n.marlow{at}

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Chan and Quigley report the key stage 1 outcomes for the Millennium Cohort based on gestational age at birth.1 We have been aware for some time of the relationship between special educational needs,2 school failure3 and gestational age but this study demonstrates that even as early as school year 3 this effect can be demonstrated. Moreover, they have also divided ‘term’ births into early (37–38 weeks) and full term (39–41 weeks). Consistent with the findings of MacKay et al2 from Scotland, it seems clear that the relationship with educational risk is continuous from full term downwards.

This is a high quality cohort with good retention even though in the final analysis only 72% of the participants resident in England were included. Nearly 400 children (5%) were missing their gestational age and the coverage of Key Stage 1 (KS1) reduced the sample by …

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

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