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NEWS: 2019 EYFSP results in England continue to show limited progress

The Department for Education has published a summary of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile results in England in 2019. The EYFS profile (EYFSP) summarises and describes children's attainment at the end of the EYFS, usually in reception.

Key findings from the 2019 results include:

  • A 0.3% increase in the proportion of children achieving a good level of development, which now stands 71.8%
  • A 0.6% decrease in the gender gap which now stands at 12.9%.
  • Reading, writing and numbers continue to be the 3 early learning goals with the lowest percentage of children achieving at the expected level or above.
  • 0.8% increase in inequality gap between all pupils, the gap has risen from 31.8% to 32.4%
  • A small decrease in narrowing the gap between all children and the lowest attaining children, the mean average for the lowest attaining 20% has decreased from 23.2 in 2018 to 23.
  • The variation between the highest and lowest performing local authority is reducing over time, however there continues to be significant variation between local authorities.

These Foundation Stage Profile results show that, whilst children’s overall development continues to improve, sadly the gap between the lowest performing children and their peers continues to widen.

PACEY Chief Executive Liz Bayram comments:

“We know that the hard work and expert care of childminders, nurseries and pre-schools is ensuring that most children are continuing to reach their full potential in early education but most is not good enough. Children living with disadvantage, be that poverty, SEND or other issues continue to be left behind.

Government needs to redouble its effort to ensure these children enjoy the full benefit of a high quality early education in the same way that their peers do. Improved funding to support registered providers to deliver sustainable early education places, especially for families who can only afford to use their entitlement and do not pay for additional hours of childcare, is critical. That said, we know from the work PACEY is doing with local authorities that have low-take up of two year old places, that there is more to it than just funding levels. Parents need support to understand the entitlements they qualify for and how to access them; to recognise the important role early education and a positive home-learning environment play in giving their child a great start and to make informed choices on the type of childcare that best suits their child and their family’s needs. 

The next Comprehensive Spending Review has to prioritise closing this gap and recognise that continued underinvestment in early years will only escalate the decline in the number of qualified staff working in settings; and the vicious circle of reduced quality and more children left behind, that this creates.”