The statement sent in an email to primary school heads had been anticipated, given that following the axing of the Baseline, without the publication of a revised Early Years Foundation Stage, the Profile remains the statutory assessment at the end of the Reception year.
The Department for Education had intended the Profile to become non-statutory from September 2016 and for the Baseline to replace it.
The assessment update said, ‘Having carefully looked at the particular issues regarding the EYFSP and also in the context of overall changes to primary assessment, the EYFSP will now remain statutory for the 2016 to 2017 academic year.
‘This is to provide continuity and stability for schools, pupils and parents and avoid unnecessary change whilst we take the time to review the options for assessment in the reception year beyond 2016 to 2017.’
'In the meantime, schools must continue to complete the EYFSP for their reception-year pupils in the summer term, by 30 June 2017 and report the results to local authorities.’
It continued, ‘We recognise that this clarification comes during the summer break but we wanted to confirm as soon as possible the position for local authorities, schools and others ready for the start of the new term.’
Neil Leitch, chief executive of the Pre-school Learning Alliance, said the move provided some clarity for practitioners and teachers but was disappointed that it had come during the school summer holidays.
‘Since the Government's decision to scrap baseline assessment, a move that was welcomed across both the early years and schools sectors, there has been much confusion over the status of the EYFS Profile and its role in early assessment going forward.’
He added, ‘We hope that the Government will take this opportunity to reassess the value of the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile, and the important role it plays in ensuring a broad, child-focused approach to early years assessment.’
The Better without Baseline coalition of academics, sector organisations and teaching unions, among others, had opposed the plan to make the Profile non-statutory after this year and have urged the DfE to reinstate it, because is viewed as a more holistic way of assessing young children.