Production of this statistics publication
Once the department has received all data from local authorities through the early years foundation stage (EYFS) profile collection, it is matched into the national pupil database (NPD). The NPD is a longitudinal database linking assessment outcomes and census data. This means school census and early years census data can be used to produce breakdowns of EYFS profile outcomes by child characteristics. The NPD also excludes shielded children, children with parents in the armed forces who are being educated abroad, and duplicate records.
Calculated data items
Average number of early learning goals (ELGs) at expected level per child
This is the mean number of early learning goals children were at the expected level for. The maximum number would be 17, if every child was at the expected level for every early learning goal. This measure replaces the average point score measure from previous years.
Number and percentage of children at expected level in all ELGs
This is a count (and derived percentage of all children) of children who were at the expected level for all 17 ELGs.
Number and percentage of children at expected level in all Communication and language and Literacy ELGs
This is a count (and derived percentage of all children) of children who were at the expected level for the ELGs in the communication and language area of learning and the ELGs in the literacy area of learning.
Number and percentage of children having a good level of development
This is a count (and derived percentage of all children) of children who were at the expected level for all 12 ELGs within the 5 areas of learning relating to: communication and language; personal, social and emotional development; physical development; literacy; and mathematics.
Number and percentage at emerging level in early learning goal or area of learning
This is a count (and derived percentage of all children) of children who were at the emerging level for a specific ELG or area of learning.
Number and percentage at expected level in early learning goal or area of learning
This is a count (and derived percentage of all children) of children who were at the expected level for a specific ELG or area of learning.
The gender of the child is recorded as male or female in the school census or early years census. In exceptional circumstances a setting may be unsure as to which gender should be recorded for a particular child. The advice from the department is to record the gender according to the wishes of the pupil and/or parent.
Ethnicity was collected on a mandatory basis for all children for the first time in 2017. Both the school census and the early years census record the ethnicity as stated by the parent/guardian. Ethnicity is a personal awareness of a common cultural identity and relates to how a person feels and not how they are perceived by others. It is a subjective decision as to which category a person places themselves in and does not imply any other characteristics such as religion or country of origin.
The setting must not ascribe any ethnicity to the child. The information must come from the parent/guardian. Where the ethnicity had not yet been collected, ‘NOBT’ (information not yet obtained) was recorded. If a parent/guardian refused to provide ethnicity, ‘REFU’ (refused) was recorded. These categories combined are shown as ‘unclassified’ within the underlying data tables.
Where a child’s ethnicity was not recorded in the school census, the ethnicity recorded in the early years census for that child was used. If a child’s ethnicity was not recorded in either the school census or the early years census, then that child’s ethnicity is shown as ‘unclassified’.
In previous publications, Chinese children were included in the ‘Other’ major ethnic group. Based on new guidance, Chinese children are now included in the ‘Asian’ major ethnic group in the 2021/22 data.
First language was collected on a mandatory basis for all children in state-funded schools for the first time in 2017. A first language other than English is where a child was exposed to the language during early development and continues to be exposed to this language in the home or in the community. If a child was exposed to more than one language (which may include English) during early development the language other than English is recorded, irrespective of the child's proficiency in English. In the case of an older pupil who is no longer exposed to the first language in the home, and who now uses only another language, the school consults with the pupil or parent to determine which language should be recorded.
Where a pupil’s first language is not English, schools may record specific languages from the extended language code set or continue to use codes from the short code set used in PLASC 2006. ENB (Not known but believed to be English) and OTB (Not known but believed to be other than English) are appropriate where a pupil’s first language is not known with absolute certainty because the parents have not responded to enquiries, but the school can judge with a high degree of confidence whether it is English or not. Where it was not possible to make this judgement, the child’s first language is shown as ‘unclassified’ within the underlying data tables.
First language is not collected in the early years census, so children who did not appear in the school census have their first language shown as ‘unclassified’ within the underlying data tables.
Free school meals eligibility
Free school meal (FSM) eligibility is collected in the school census and states whether a child's family have claimed eligibility for free school meals. Parents are able to claim free school meals if they receive a qualifying benefit.
From September 2014 all infant pupils in state-funded schools have been entitled to a free school meal. The FSM eligibility variable does not relate to children who actually received free school meals but those children who were eligible to receive free school meals. Children not eligible for free school meals, or children whose eligibility was not known, are described as ‘Not known to be eligible for free school meals’ in the statistical release.
Free school meals are only provided in state-funded schools, so FSM eligibility is not collected in the early years census. Children who did not appear in the school census are therefore categorised as ‘Not known to be eligible for free school meals’ in the statistical release.
Term of birth
Children born in the autumn term may have attended early years provision for a longer period of time before they reach the end of the EYFS than pupils born at other times of the year. Therefore, EYFS profile outcomes are broken down by term of birth.
Term of birth for each child has been classified as below:
Autumn-born = September, October, November or December
Spring-born = January, February, March or April
Summer-born = May, June, July or August
In 2021/22, the standard dates of birth for the EYFS academic year run from 1st September 2016 to 31st August 2017. Children born outside of the standard reported academic year have been classified as the lower or upper grouping. This means a child born on 31st August 2016 or before will be classified as autumn-born and a child born 1st September 2017 or after will be classified as summer-born.
Special educational needs (SEN) provision
Children with SEN are currently classified as follows:
Extra or different help is given from that provided as part of the school’s usual curriculum. The class teacher and special educational needs coordinator (SENCO) may receive advice or support from outside specialists. The pupil does not have an education, health and care plan. SEN support replaced the former School Action and School Action Plus categories from 2015.
Education, health and care (EHC) plans
A pupil has an EHC plan when a formal assessment has been made. A document is in place that sets out the child’s need and the extra help they should receive. Prior to September 2014, a statement of SEN was used. The period for local authorities to transfer children and young people with statements of SEN to EHC plans started in September 2014 and ended in 2018. Following the introduction of EHC plans in September 2014, statements of SEN and EHC plans were grouped together within the data.
The type of SEN provision a child receives is collected on both the school and early years census. If a child was recorded by a school as not on roll at the time of the spring school census and was not in the early years census, or was not in either census at all, that child is categorised as having ‘unclassified’ SEN provision.
When interpreting underlying data file 3, it should be noted that children who had ‘unclassified’ SEN provision for either of the reasons above cannot have been eligible for free school meals.
SEN primary need
A child with SEN’s primary need is the child’s most significant special educational need. This is collected through the school census, but not the early years census, so the sum of children broken down by primary need may not match the total number of children receiving SEN provision.
Income deprivation affecting children index (IDACI) decile
IDACI is a supplementary index of the English indices of deprivation 2019. Each lower-layer super output area (LSOA), or neighbourhood, is given a score showing the percentage of pupils aged under 16 that live in income deprived households. These neighbourhoods are grouped into deciles so that the 10% of neighbourhoods with the highest scores (that is, with the most deprived children) make up decile 1, and the 10% of neighbourhoods with the lowest scores (that is, with the fewest deprived children) make up decile 10.
Breakdowns by local authority district in underlying data files 1 and 2 are based on matching the postcode of the school or provider to the February extract of the National Statistics Postcode Lookup (NSPL). A small number of schools and providers could not be matched to a local authority district. The assessment outcomes of the children attending these settings (0.1% of all children) are shown in the 'Outside England and unknown' category.
Breakdowns by local authority district in underlying data file 4 are based on matching the child’s home postcode to the February extract of the National Statistics Postcode Lookup (NSPL). A small number of children could not be matched to a local authority district. The assessment outcomes of these children (0.2% of all children) are shown in the 'Outside England and unknown' category.
Breakdowns by IDACI decile are based on matching the child’s home postcode to the February extract of the National Statistics Postcode Lookup (NSPL), and the English indices of deprivation 2019.
The Code of Practice for Statistics requires that reasonable steps should be taken to ensure that all published or disseminated statistics protect confidentiality. The publication follows the DfE policy statement on confidentiality. As a result of rounding percentages may not sum to 100.
Where any number is shown as zero, the original figure submitted was zero.
The following symbols have been used:
z data not applicable
b break in time series