A new study has found boys have lower vocabulary test scores and are more likely than girls to have poorer literacy skills.
The ESRI study also found boys are more likely to have negative attitudes towards school and greater socio-emotional difficulties.
The study, commissioned by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment, found the vast majority of five-year-olds are positive about school, look forward to going to school and say good things about it.
The research, which examined how 9,000 children adjusted to primary school, found that only a small proportion (4-5%) of children often complain or are upset about school.
It did this by examining their vocabulary skills, early literacy and numeracy skills, their attitudes to school, their relationships with teachers, and their socio-emotional skills.
However, the study showed that children start school with different skills and capacities and some children face greater challenges.
The largest skills gap, both academic and socio-emotional, is between children with disabilities or special educational needs and their peers.
While the ESRI says boys have lower vocabulary test scores and teachers report that boys are more likely than girls to have poorer literacy skills, negative attitudes towards school and greater socio-emotional difficulties.
Children from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds have more negative attitudes towards school, more socio-emotional difficulties and poorer literacy and numeracy skills than those from other backgrounds.