Children's EYFS Profile scores rise again, as gender gap narrows slightly

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Five-year-olds in England continue to improve their scores in assessments at the end of Reception, the latest Government statistics show.

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However, the figures also show that the gender gap between boys and girls persists, with girls outperforming boys - although the gap appears to be narrowing.

Boys have narrowed the gap in seven assessment scales, while it has stayed the same in the other six scales.

The Early Years Foundation Stage Profile statistics, published on the Department for Education website, show that the percentage of children achieving a good level of development has risen by five percentage points since 2011, from 59 per cent to 64 per cent.

Children must score at least six points across the seven scales in personal, social and emotional development (PSED) and communication, language and literacy (CLL), across all 13 scales of the EYFS Profile.

The percentage of children working securely within the early learning goals has also increased in all 13 scales of assessment since 2011.

The figures also include a breakdown by local authority area, which shows that the percentage of children achieving a good level of development ranges from 51 per cent in Middlesbrough to 78 per cent in Rutland.

Meanwhile, the gap between children in poorer areas and their peers remains unchanged from last year.

Fifty-six per cent of children in the 30 per cent most deprived areas achieved a good level of development, compared with 68 per cent of children in other areas.

Anne Longfield, chief executive of 4Children said, ‘The continued improvement in children’s early learning is apparent in today’s Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFS) results. They demonstrate that the investment in early years is paying off, with the percentage of children achieving a good level of development increasing by five percentage points since 2011 (from 59 per cent to 64 per cent).

‘In particular the improvements in Writing, Reading and Linking Sounds and Letters are strong evidence of the investment in the Government’s programmes to support children’s acquisition of early language.

‘I am pleased to see the gap between girls and boys continuing to narrow; these results prove that with an effective approach all children can have the best start in life. However as the gap between the most disadvantaged children and their peers remained stable since 2011, it reinforces the need to continue long term investment in the early years so a system that achieves the best possible outcomes for all young children whatever their social class is developed.’

Elizabeth Truss, education and childcare minister, said, ‘We have improved the Early Years Foundation Stage to focus on outcomes. Parents now have a clearer sense of how their child is progressing.

‘I want to further improve quality so that parents can have confidence in the early education their children are receiving.’

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