Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
With the EYFSP being retained for at least another year, the results give us a chance to see how well the sector as a whole has performed. This always makes an interesting read, and this year is no exception.
The results are in!
The latest information from Early Years is in, and it’s good news all round really – a 3 percentage point increase in the number of children achieving a good level of development since 2015. The gap between the genders is also 1 percentage point smaller (meaning the gap has closed a bit, woo!). And all children are doing better than the previous year.
You can read the full EYFSP results here, but if you are familiar with the results from previous years then you wont be surprised at all. Numeracy, reading and writing are improved but still the lowest scoring areas by some way. With the gap between the highest and lowest performing local authorities AND the inequality gap closing, it looks like we are getting better at Narrowing these Gaps in Early Years!
However, despite these results the message from Ofsted is still clear – we need to do more on narrowing this gap and we need to do it rapidly! I recently attended a Narrowing the Gap Seminar that was delivered by a Senior HMI and the Local Authority. These are taking place across the country focusing on areas with the highest gaps. They introduced their report Unknown children: destined for disadvantage? which examines not only the wider causes of disadvantage but also the impact this has on children’s life chances. it was made clear during the seminar that we in the early years must do all we can to ‘accelerate’ these children’s learning to support their catching up with their peers. Whatever your thoughts on whether it is right to be constantly pushing children to do more (although this can possibly be countered with some of our expectations being too low) we have to balance this with the fact that we will be judged on this during our Inspections, and so need to have the evidence to demonstrate our children’s progress, especially those with an identified gap (extremely prompt assessment of starting points is essential to this process). But if all children are doing better then surely by undertaking activities with several cohorts (are you using the correct terminology yet?) you will be improving areas in all of the children in those cohorts – does this mean we should leave those that are already achieving a good level of development to their own devices? It certainly feels like it with all this pressure to narrow these gaps but no of course we can’t. But we do have to find ways, through specific interventions to accelerate learning for those with gaps. This took me back to what I feel is still a little used document produced by the Education Endowment Foundation which is an early years toolkit looking at the approaches that can support children making progress, looking at the interventions that work well and the average improvements that are being made. It’s a good time to revisit this. And don’t forget our handy Closing the Gap wall poster to help your teams focus on what is important (Log in to download)
And I took the opportunity to ask the Senior HMI about the EYFS 2016. When will it be here? She informed us that is is all ready to go and has been for a while – we are just waiting for the go ahead from Ministers and the DfE. So I would ask – why the delay? Everything happens for a reason – is there something in this document that might cause them not to want to publish – are they waiting for another wet Sunday in November, as they did with the ‘Secret Consultation‘ in March? Or perhaps they are waiting to hide it behind some bad news to do with funding (as if it could get any worse). I should probably stop overthinking this or conspiracy theories might be setting in!
About the author: Tricia Wellings