DfE reports EYFSP Attainment Gap Between Summer and Autumn Born Children

charlie and lolaThe 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.

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3 Responses to DfE reports EYFSP Attainment Gap Between Summer and Autumn Born Children

  1. psw260259 says:

    As you say – the results are not a surprise. My summerborn (prem) grandsons were deemed to have ‘failed’. Their mother was told this and was distraught – and phoned me to asked if she should get them a private tutor for the summer holidays – or even consider sending them to private school. I explained that not only were they not CSA – if born around their due date they would not even be in school at that point in time..

    She asked if they could repeat the reception year, but was told no – because reception was already full of 4 year olds – but if they had not been prem – that would have been the right year group for them.

    And yes it was the EYFS check list that deemed they had ‘failed’

    Being a summerborn is bad enough and it is all ‘too much, too soon’ but being a prem summerborn is worse


  2. annamcloughlin says:

    Precisely – it is ludicrous that children are being measured as if they are all carbon copies, when some have an entire year of development over others.


  3. Jeanette Marr says:

    interesting results. I wonder if they went back to the summer born children after 3 months in year one, if their results would have then ‘passed’ the EYFS checklist. Are these results better or worse or the same since the changes made to the staggered admissions system changed following the Rose Report? That was not an ideal system either, but at least the pressure was not as extreme as what some summer borns are facing in reception.


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