The number of four- and five-year-olds, at a “good level of development” at the end of their Reception year has risen for the fifth year in a row, demonstrating once again success in our early years settings. In 2019, 71.8% of children reached the DfE’s Early Years Foundation Stage profile benchmark, a 0.3% rise from the previous year.

Government statistics recently published also show that the gender gap has reduced again this year – however, girls are still outperforming boys. In all 3 key measures of the EYFS, (communication and language, physical development and personal, social and emotional development) girls continue to perform better, with 77.6% at least at the expected level in all 17 of the early learning goals (ELGs).  This is in comparison to 64.0% of boys.

For children to reach a “good level of development”, they must have reached the early learning goal (ELG) in 12 out of the 17 areas in which they are assessed.  For example, being able to count to 20, read short and simple sentences and being able take turns when playing. The percentage of children who achieved the “expected level” in all 17 of the ELG also increased by 0.5 % on last year to 70.7%.

Interestingly, girls’ performance has stabilised this year – with no change to either the average point score or the percentage achieving a good level of development, compared with last year. Comparing the percentage points’ difference between the two, there has been a 0.8 percentage point increase with boys achieving at least the expected level but a 0.5 percentage point increase in those achieving a good level of development. So the boys’ average point score remains the same as 2018 at 33.4.

What this means is that the gender gap has actually decreased for the percentage achieving at least the expected level and the percentage achieving a good level of development.


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