The Department for Education has published its Early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) attainment by pupil characteristics in England for the academic year 2013 to 2014.
No real summer born surprises given that these children’s level of development was measured while most of them were still only 4 years old and had not even yet reached CSA:
“Of pupils born in the autumn term, 71% achieved a GLD [Good Level of Development] compared with 49% of those pupils born in the summer, a 22 percentage point attainment gap, marginally lower than in 2013.”
Not only does this make it look as though our children are somehow ‘failing’ (which they are not), it also reflects badly on our teaching profession and national standard of education, which is quite ludicrous. Why is everyone being set up to fail here?
We don’t try to rush children’s motor skills when they’re learning to walk, and yet I can distinctly recall overhearing a Reception class teacher talking to the parent of a 4 year-old child about how helpful it would be if they could practice cutting with scissors at home so that this skill could be achieved on their EYFSP.
The guidance for EYFSP might say, “They should not be used as checklists“, but in the real world, where teachers are being assessed and schools are being ranked, that’s exactly what they can become.