EEF to manage evaluation of Early Years assessment pilot

The Department for Education is planning to make changes to the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP), and is piloting the reforms in 25 schools, selected to be a representative mix of all schools, prior to a full national public consultation. The EEF is managing the independent evaluation of the pilot, and will publish the findings of the pilot.

The EYFSP provides the framework for assessing children’s development at the end of Reception. It is completed by teachers, based on their observations and professional judgement of children’s learning and development. The reforms being piloted are intended to reduce the assessment and moderation burden on teachers, improve the clarity and consistency of assessments made by teachers, and support children’s early development in language and vocabulary. Action for Children is supporting the introduction of the materials in the pilot schools.

Early Years Toolkit

Early Years Toolkit

An accessible summary of educational research for early years teaching.

A team from NatCenSocial Research has been appointed by the EEF to conduct the independent evaluation. Data will be collected through a survey and interviews with Reception teachers or EYFS coordinators in the 25 pilot schools, with in-depth case studies for a sample of the schools. The evaluation will focus on teachers’ interpretation and delivery of the new EYFSP materials, and the extent to which the changes reduce teacher workload.

Commenting on the announcement of the pilot, Sir Kevan Collins, Chief Executive of the EEF, said:

"Identifying those children who have fallen behind before school starts is crucial for providing them with the support they need to catch up. However it is difficult to know how to do this well and without increasing teacher workload.

"It is only through careful evaluation that we'll be able to identify the best ways of supporting children's development in Reception. It is important that new approaches are independently evaluated before being rolled out and we welcome the opportunity to bring our expertise to today's new pilot."