Changes to EYFSP and Development Matters

Early Adoption of the new EYFSP

Following on from the pilot of the new Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) administered by the Education Endowment Foundation between June 2018 and October 2019, the DfE ran a consultation on the proposed new framework and reported its findings in January 2020. The current EYFS handbook can be downloaded here and new framework, published in July 2020, and can be found here.

The new EYFSP is due to become statutory in 2021/22 academic year (i.e. for pupils entering reception in September 2021) but schools had the opportunity to become early adopters (the window for 'early adoption' has now closed and the schools have been selected). These early adopter schools will be exempt from the current EYFSP and will instead be required to submit data relating to the new framework to LAs in summer 2021.

One key change in terms of data collection is the removal of the ‘exceeding’ grade. Under the new framework, schools will only assess whether a pupil has met (i.e. expected) or not met (i.e. emerging) the criteria of each Early Learning Goal (ELG). There is also an ‘A’ value for instances where there is not enough information available to make an assessment.

Whilst there are still 17 ELGs in the new EYFSP, some of these have changed and do not necessarily map to the old ones. The following table provides a comparison with the ELGs used to define the Good Level of Development measure highlighted.

Insight can be updated with the new ELGs for ongoing tracking and collation of the EYFSP at the end of the year. New ELGs can be set up as grouped subjects for ease of data entry via the 'enter data' screen. If you are an early adopter school, please get in touch to discuss.

Changes to Development Matters

Many schools use the development matters framework for continual assessment and tracking of children in nursery settings and the reception year. Typically this involves statements that build a profile towards each of the early learning goals, and a series of categories in the form of subdivided month bands (e.g. 30-50D, 40-60E). The new Development Matters guidance, published in September 2020 here, is a significant departure from that approach. The new handbook provides criteria for the seven areas of learning of EYFS, but not for the individual ELGs. Also, it has dispensed with the original ages and stages (month bands) in favour of a broader approach involving just three categories: birth to three, three to four, and reception. This does not provide the granular detail of the previous framework and as development matters is non-statutory, schools are free to adopt the new system, adapt it, or develop their own approach.

if you want to have a bank of statements for EYFS in Insight, remember you can set up any you like in admin/manage objectives. Get in touch to discuss options; we are happy to help.

As with the removal of levels, schools will no doubt be wondering what they do in place of the month bands they have been using for tracking across Early Years. First, it is important to note that the month bands do overlap and are therefore not distinct or hierarchical. Often, 40-60E will be treated as above 30-50S. However, due to the overlap, it is, if anything, the other way round. For this reason, development matters month bands were never really intended to be used for tracking and measuring pupil progress.

So, what's the alternative? Schools can continue to use month bands, adopt the new broad age bands, or develop their own approach.

One option is to adopt a system similar to that already used by many schools for other year groups - a form of 'point in time assessment'. Rather than a flight path, consider categories that simply state if pupils are on track to meet ELGs, or are working at age expectations. For example, you could use a three band system that states whether a pupil's development is below typical, typical, or above typical. Alternatively, adopt the same model used by all other year groups, to establish a common approach across the school. Pupils that are broadly typical or expected in all ELGs early in the year are assumed to be on track to make a 'good level of development' at the end of the year.

Whatever you choose to do, we are here to help in any way we can. Insight is a flexible system and, as always, we will support you in getting it set up to meet your requirements.

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