Data on Early Years attainment were published last month for the 2016/17 year, and are available at LA level. The DfE report notes that the proportion of children achieving a good level of development continues to rise and that the gender gap also decreased, though remains significant. There is a useful map showing the proportion of children achieving a good level across the country. The DfE notes that variability between LAs is an issue.
The detailed data will help education managers to focus the curriculum on children’s needs. Writing, Reading and Numbers are of course the three areas where fewest children meet the expected level, but Shape, Space and Measures is also an area for improvement. At the other end of the scale, almost all children meet the expected level for Health and Self-Care and for Technology. At LA level and school level some of these patterns will be different, and managers, school leadership teams and governors will need to understand their own performance.
We think that Early Help managers may be especially interested in what the data show about children’s emotional resilience. For instance, there is a correlation between LAs where fewer children meet the expected level for Managing feelings and behaviour and those with a high level of children in need. (The lower quartile of LAs for Managing feelings and behaviour have an average rate of CiN of 415, compared to 330 nationally.) There is scope for EY managers to use these data to work with schools to target support to children and families.
Additional data on EY attainment by child characteristic will be published at the end of November, and we will revisit it then.