These statistics report on teacher assessments of children’s development at the end of the early years foundation stage (EYFS), specifically the end of the academic year in which a child turns 5. This is typically the summer term of reception year. The assessment framework, or EYFS Profile, consists of 17 early learning goals (ELGs) across 7 areas of learning.
This is the second publication since the 2021/22 EYFS reforms were introduced in September 2021. As part of those reforms, the EYFS Profile was significantly revised. It is therefore not possible to directly compare 2021/22 and 2022/23 assessment outcomes with earlier years.
The statutory EYFS framework sets the standards and requirements that all early years providers must follow to ensure all children have the best start in life and are prepared for school. It requires that children be assessed against the EYFS Profile in the summer term of the academic year in which they turn 5.
The EYFS Profile is intended to provide an accurate representation of each child’s development at the end of the EYFS to support their transition into year 1. It is made up of an assessment of the child’s outcomes in relation to 17 early learning goals (ELGs) across 7 areas of learning.
The 3 prime areas of learning are: communication and language; personal, social and emotional development; and physical development. These prime areas are particularly important for children’s healthy development and are the basis for successful learning in the other 4 specific areas of learning: literacy; mathematics; understanding the world; and expressive arts and design.
As shown in the table below, children are defined as having a good level of development at the end of the EYFS if they are at the expected level for the 12 ELGs within the 5 areas of learning relating to: communication and language; personal, social and emotional development; physical development; literacy; and mathematics.
|Area of learning
|Early learning goal
|Part of the good level of development measure
|Prime areas of learning
|Communication and language
|Listening, attention and understanding
|Personal, social and emotional development
|Gross motor skills
|Fine motor skills
|Specific areas of learning
|Understanding the world
|Past and present
|People, culture and communities
|The natural world
|Expressive arts and design
|Creating with materials
|Being imaginative and expressive
Changes to the EYFS Profile in 2021
- revisions to all 7 areas of learning in the EYFS, with new educational programmes that set out what children must experience and learn about
- revisions to all 17 ELGs across the 7 areas of learning to make these clearer and more precise and to make it easier for practitioners to understand what is required for a child to be at the expected level of development
- removal of ‘exceeding’ assessment band
- removal of statutory local authority moderation
It is therefore not possible to directly compare 2021/22 and 2022/23 assessment outcomes with earlier years.
The assessment scales and exemptions
Children are assessed against the 17 early learning goals as either being at the ‘emerging’ or the ‘expected’ level at the end of the EYFS.
The early years foundation stage profile must be completed for all children unless:
- an exemption has been granted for the setting (reserved for independent schools or schools with established principles in conflict with the EYFS)
- an exemption has been granted for an individual child (reserved only for cases where a child’s family has religious or philosophical beliefs that cannot be reconciled with the EYFS)
- the child is continuing in early years foundation stage provision beyond the year in which they turn 5.
For more detailed information see the EYFS Profile handbook.