Methodology

Early years foundation stage profile results

Published

Background

This methodology relates to the data first published in October 2019, the main summary tables (results at national and local authority level).. A further methodology document covering the results by pupil characteristics can be found at  GOV.UK.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) is a teacher assessment of children’s development at the end of the EYFS (the end of the academic year in which the child turns five). It should support a smooth transition to key stage 1 (KS1) by informing the professional dialogue between EYFS and KS1 teachers. This information should help Year 1 teachers plan an effective, responsive and appropriate curriculum that will meet the needs of all children. The profile is also designed to inform parents or carers about their child’s development against the early learning goals (ELGs). 

Following an independent review of the EYFS, a new profile was introduced in September 2012 and the first assessments using the new profile took place in summer 2013.

The profile and EYFS have a stronger emphasis on the three prime areas of learning which are most essential for children’s healthy development. These three areas of learning are: communication and language; physical development; and personal, social and emotional development. The profile requires practitioners to make a best-fit assessment of whether children are emerging, expected or exceeding against each of the 17 ELGs. As the content changed between the old and the new profile, comparisons cannot be made with pre 2013 EYFSP results. 

Further information on the EYFS profile assessment and reporting arrangements, alongside other EYFS resources, can be found on the early learning and childcare webpage.

Areas of learning and learning goals (see definitions section for more information)

The EYFS framework contains 17 early learning goals in seven areas of learning covering children’s physical, intellectual, emotional and social development;

The assessment scales

The EYFS profile captures the areas of learning as a set of early learning goals. Children are assessed against the 17 early learning goals.

Assessment rating 

1 - indicates a child who is at the emerging level at the end of the EYFS

2 - indicates a child who is at the expected level at the end of the EYFS

3 - indicates a child who is at the exceeding level at the end of the EYFS

A - indicates a child who has not been assessed due to long periods of absence, for instance a prolonged illness, or arrived too late in the summer term for teacher assessment to be carried out, or for an exemption

For more detailed information see the EYFSP handbook.

 

 

 

Data collection

The source of data for this publication is the Early Years Foundation Stage profile collection, an annual statutory child-level collection from all local authorities in England, which runs from June to the start of September.

All providers of state-funded early years education, including: academies; free schools; and private, voluntary and independent (PVI) providers in England are within the scope of the EYFSP data collection. 

Local authorities (LAs) are required to collect and report to the Department for Education (DfE), the summary results for:

  • all children at the end of the EYFS in their state-funded schools and nurseries;
  • children in PVIs where the child is still in receipt of government funding at the end of the EYFS (the funding for a child in a PVI provider ceases in the term following the child's 5th birthday).

The publication therefore covers all types of schools or early education providers that deliver the EYFS to children in receipt of a government funded place.

Further information on the data items collected in the EYFSP return can be found in the collection guide. This and other documents useful for the completion of the return can be found on the DfE collection website

Data processing

Schools and early years providers submit data to their local authority who then load the data into the DfE bespoke data collection system: COLLECT (Collections On-Line for Learning, Education, Children and Teachers). 

The system is stored securely on DfE servers and is accessed by local authorities via the internet, with each local authority given secure log in details. 

COLLECT has built-in validation rules which identifies invalid data or where the quality is questionable. This allows local authorities to identify errors and clean the data before they submit it to the DfE. Validation rules can either be errors (data is invalid) or queries (data quality is questionable but could be accurate in certain circumstances). 

Local authorities are encouraged to clean all errors and double-check data where queries are flagged. Notes can be added to their return if there is a genuine reason for “unusual” data.

Coverage

Tables include results for those children who were in receipt of a government funded early education place at the end of the EYFS only. Children who are not in receipt of a funded place at the end of the EYFS are not in the scope of the Department’s EYFS profile data collection and therefore not included in the results.

The results are for funded children who were assessed at the end of the academic year. Children who have been held back will be included in the results cohort for the year in which they are assessed and so these tables may include results from some children outside of the usual EYFS age range.

In 2019, returns were received from 100% of expected schools and early years settings. The total number of children in the 2019 cohort reported on in this publication is 638,995.  This is made up of 311,553 girls and 327,442 boys.

Ordinarily the EYFS profile must be completed in the final term of the academic year in which the child reaches the age of five, the only exceptions being:

  • where an exemption from all or part of the EYFS assessment arrangements has been granted for the setting by the Secretary of State for Education; or
  • where a child is continuing in EYFS provision beyond the year in which they turn five.

The following records are excluded from the tables:

  • children with an “A” (exemption) recorded against any area or goal in their EYFS Profile
  • service children – children of parents in the armed forces in overseas schools

In 2018/19, 23 schools piloted a revised set of early learning goals and a revised approach to assessment and moderation. These schools are excluded from the results for 2019. In 2018, the pupils in these 23 schools represented 0.2% of the national cohort of children. 

Definitions

The full guidance notes relating to the EYFS profile can be viewed at the DfE collection website:

  • Area of learning – Refers to the grouping of children`s learning and development into seven areas. There are three prime areas which focus on the earliest experiences which are foundations for learning: Personal, social and emotional development, Communication and language and Physical development. There are four specific areas in which the prime skills are applied: Literacy, Mathematics, Expressive arts and design and Understanding the world.
  • Early learning goal (ELG) – A collection of statements which sets out the expected level of attainment at the end of the EYFS. There are 17 ELGs drawn from seven areas of learning.
  • Emerging development – Describes attainment at a level which has not reached that expressed by the ELGs.
  • Expected development – is the development expected by the end of the EYFS and is described by 17 ELGs drawn from seven areas of learning.
  • Exceeding development – describes attainment beyond that which is expected at the end of the EYFS.
  • Good level of development – children will be defined as having reached a good level of development at the end of the EYFS if they achieve at least the expected level in: the early learning goals in the prime areas of learning (personal, social and emotional development; physical development; and communication and language) and; the early learning goals in the specific areas of mathematics and literacy.
  • Communication and language and literacy areas of learning – this measure combines the ELGs from the communication and language and the literacy areas of learning and includes the following ELGs:  listening and attention, reading, speaking, writing and understanding.