EYFS development levels improve nationally – 21 October 2017

This week I report on the 2017 EYFS results, updated guidance on Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch up premium funding, new model private notices and the latest data on pupil absence rates.

Improvement in EYFS development levels
On Thursday the DfE published the 2017 Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) profile results. The results show an increase in the percentage of children achieving “a good level of development” and a decreasing gender gap that continues to see girls outperform boys overall, but with boys improving at a faster rate.

70.7% of pupils met the department’s definition of  a good level of development based on achieving expected levels within communication and language, physical development, personal, social and emotional development, literacy and mathematics. While 69% of pupils, an increase of 1.7% when compared to 2016, achieved at least expected in all 17 learning goals, which are the knowledge, skills and understanding pupils are expected to have by the end of the academic year in which they turn five.

Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium funding and guidance
On Tuesday the DfE updated its guidance on strategies schools can use to spend the Year 7 literacy and numeracy catch-up premium effectively. The funding is provided to support those Year 7 pupils that didn’t achieve the expected standard in reading or maths at the end of Key Stage 2,

The DfE also confirmed that this year schools will receive the same amount of Year 7 catch-up premium funding as they received in 2016-17 (with some variation based on difference in cohort size). Like the pupil premium, Governors should ensure that they receive information on how the funding is spent and that the report is published on the school’s website.

New model privacy notices issued by the DfE
Late last week the DfE released updated model privacy notices for schools and local authorities to issue to staff, parents and pupils about the collection of data. The documents let relevant stakeholders know how schools process data and how personal data about themselves can be accessed.

The model privacy notices were updated to help schools comply with the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) which as you are all aware comes into force on 25 May 2018. Schools need to ensure compliance with the GDPR or risk substantial financial penalties from the Information Commissioners Office (ICO).

Further information is available on the ICO’s website and there is a free webinar on how to implement the GDPR in schools available on the Browne Jacobson website. As you are also aware the LA is offering a new SLA which you can access via the LA’s SLA online portal .

DfE latest data release on pupil absence rates
The DfE has published the latest data on pupil absence rates in England, covering the period Autumn 2016 to Autumn 2017. Key findings from the data are:

  • overall absence rates are relatively stable, increasing by 0.1% between 2015/16 and 2016/17
  • the number of unauthorised absences has risen by 0.2%, partly “due to increased levels of unauthorised family holiday and other unauthorised absence”
  • the number of persistently absent children has risen by 0.1%
  • as in previous years, the most common reason for absence was illness (60.1% of all absences)