The authors studied the intellectual outcome of 45 of the 47 schoolchildren who had been born with very low birthweights (less than 1501 g) in Wolverhampton between 1975 and 1978 and were free of major handicap. Their outcome was compared with that of a control group matched for age, sex, race and social class. The very low-birthweight children had lower IQs, were more likely to be performing poorly or below average at school and were more likely to show emotional disturbance. Those who had had a major neonatal illness were most likely to be performing below average at school. These results may be representative of the outcome for very low-birthweight babies born in the United Kingdom during the late 1970s.