This measure relates to children in National Curriculum year group Reception (children aged 4-5 years)

The statutory Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) framework requires a profile assessment to be carried out in the final term of the year in which a child reaches age 5. The main purpose of the profile is to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of individual children.

Children are defined as having reached a good level of development at the end of the EYFS if they have achieved at least the expected level in 3 prime areas of learning:-

  • personal, social and emotional development

  • physical development

  • communication and language

and specific areas in:-

  • mathematics

  • literacy

November 2017

GLD for all children in 2017 is 70.6% an improvement of 2.3% compared to 2016; continuing the trend of year on year improvement.

West Sussex also continues to rise in the national rankings for GLD,being placed 78th this year, an improvement of 19 places nationally.Compared to statistical neighbours, West Sussex is ranked 7th of 11 Local Authorities, an improvement of 2 places since 2016.

The attainment gap between the lowest achieving 20% of children and the rest has widened in 2017 at the same rate as the national attainment gap. The attainment gap for England widened from 31.4% to 31.7%; whilst the gap in West Sussex has widened from 27.1% to 27.4%

Girls’ attainment in West Sussex continues to be higher than boys’, with the greatest differences in Literacy and Expressive Arts and design.

Quarter 1 - June 2017

Work to raise Good Level of Development ( GLD) across the county has continued with support being provided for all schools where GLD was below national average. The level of GLD is recorded each summer but the full results are not yet available for 2017. Early indications are that standards have risen both in West Sussex and nationally with West Sussex being broadly in line with national averages.

November 2016

Good level of development (GLD) for all children in 2016 was 68.3%, an improvement of 4.3% compared to 2015 and continuing the trend of 4 or 5% point increases since 2013, whereas the average increase in GLD across the South East was only 2.9%.

As in England and the South East, there is a distinct gender gap in GLD attainment in West Sussex. Although the gap has reduced to 15.2% this year from 18.4% in 2013, it remains greater than the South east at 14.4% and England at 14.7%.

Children’s birth date, and therefore the age at which they are assessed, continues to be a significant factor. This year 78% of autumn born children attained GLD, whilst only 56% of summer born children attained GLD.

There is also a significant attainment gap between children with an Education Health and Care Plan, a statement of SEN or who receive SEN school support. 21% of these children achieved GLD compared to 68.3% of the population. There were 744 children in this group.

Results for children who were eligible for 2 year old funded places show that 53% of the cohort went on to achieve GLD compared to 68.3% of the population.

Improvements planned

School Improvement Advisers have been making termly visits to all schools since the summer term; these include specific questions for all Heads and EYFS leaders on pupil progress, target setting and monitoring attainment. The early years advisory team offer targeted support to schools judged by Ofsted to be Inadequate or Requires Improvement and to schools attaining low GLD. This involves quality assuring practice and target setting for groups of children. This approach with schools is on-going.

Poor transition is a contributory factor to low GLD as children make optimal progress when information about their attainment and progress from starting points is shared effectively and in good time. To assist pre-school practitioners and school teachers in managing effective transitions we are taking a number of actions:

  • Embedding County-wide school and setting transition events already in place
  • Producing universal and supported transition guidance including case studies of best practice
  • Re-drafting transition guidance for parents and carers
  • Producing guidance on home visiting for settings and schools and promoting it as good practice
  • Producing a 1-page profile, taken from the existing Learning Journey document, to be passed from setting to school for each child
  • Working with Head Teachers and Early Years leaders to set out agreed principles and expectations of children’s readiness for school, and schools’ readiness for children, and using these to underpin on-going guidance and training.

The vulnerable learners audit will continue to be carried out termly by advisers in the Early Childhood Service. Pre-school settings identified in the summer term as less able to support vulnerable learners will be prioritised for visits by early years and childcare advisers. Settings where vulnerable learners are well supported will receive telephone support. Practice in settings offering free 2 year old places will be scrutinised through the vulnerable learners audit process. We will revisit a project developed with Canterbury Christchurch University in 2014 to improve the quality of early years practice in working with 2 year olds through our established locality based networks and training programme.

A programme of moderation activity through locality based networks has been embedded and we believe that this has had a positive impact on GLD in 2015-16. There was a sustained focus on boys writing which resulted in teachers being able to make judgments based on sound evidence. This approach will continue, and training events during 2016-17 will support dissemination of best practice, peer coaching and ensure the Reception teachers are confident in making accurate and consistent assessments of children’s learning and development.

The School Improvement Service offer training focusing on areas of the curriculum where fewer children achieve GLD. Training is currently being delivered and a series of training events has been planned to improve teachers’ knowledge and skills, for example, addressing gender issues in learning generally and particularly in writing, leadership in schools, and using data to inform planning. Training continues to be available through a subscription programme for pre-schools through the Early Childhood Service, and this continues to target aspects of learning where GLD results are poor, and to address themes emerging from Ofsted inspections. We have analysed GLD by Children and Family Centre reach areas looking at attainment in specific aspects of learning and this will drive targeted interventions and training led by Children and Family Centres, and through locality based networks during 2016-17.

The Early Childhood Service will continue to support and challenge pre-school providers to include all children and to refine our referral processes for children with SEND. We continue to monitor the outcomes of children who receive funding for support in pre-schools, including those children who go on to receive an Education Health and Care needs assessment.