Welcome to Bedford Borough Council

 
Our Services A - Z :
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
 
 

You are here: Home Page > Health and Social Care > Bedford Borough JSNA > Starting Well > Foundation Stage attainment

Foundation Stage attainment

Introduction

The primary aim of the early years is defined as: ‘promoting a child’s physical, emotional, cognitive and social development so that all children have a fair chance to succeed at school and later in life’. (NICE)

 

The better start a child has in life, the less likely they are to become involved in harmful risk taking later in life

 

Bedford Borough and its partners are striving to work together to give Bedford’s children the best start and remove the achievement gap at the end of the Foundation Stage of education.  .

 

Facts, figures, trends

Population

Number of Children under the age of 5

Bedford Borough’s 0- 4 population increased at a higher rate than the total population between 2001 and 2013, with a rise of 15% from 9300 in 2001 to 10,000 in 2013 (Office for National Statistics' estimates).

 

The Borough's 0-4 population has increased from an estimated 10,300 in mid 2011 to 10,700 in mid 2013.

 

Children under the age of 5 by Ward

The wards with the highest numbers of under 5’s are Cauldwell, Kingsbrook and Goldington.

All wards are structured into Children’s Centre Networks.  Below is a map of the Children’s centre networks and the wards within each network area.

 

FSA12015

 

 

Below are the 0-4 populations by children’s centre network areas

Children’s Centre network

0

1

2

3

4

   0-4

Network 1

587

563

595

582

615

  2,943

Network 2

676

682

655

655

701

3,369

Network 3

542

568

587

541

557

2,795

Network 4

361

353

385

341

348

1,788

 

Source: ONS, 2014, Small Area Mid Year Population Estimates

 

Forecast of Births to 2021

Births are forecast to average between 2,100 and 2,200 each year between 2013 and 2021, continuing the higher level of births which the Borough has experienced since 2008.  As a result, the 0-4 population of the Borough is expected to stabilise or increase only slowly over the next five years in the range of 10,500 – 11,000.

 

Ethnicity of 0 – 4

The BME level is much higher among the Borough's 0-4 population (41.3%) and has increased considerably since 2001 (24.9%).

 

A majority (50.95%) of children aged 0-4 in Bedford and Kempston are non-White British compared to 20.4% in the rural areas.  Queen's Park (84%), Cauldwell (67%) and Castle (59%) wards had the highest levels of non-White British children aged 0-4.

 

Almost a third of births in 2012 were to mothers born outside the UK including 11% to mothers born in the new EU Accession countries, and 12% to mothers born in Asia.

Child poverty

A child is living in poverty if they live in a family in receipt of out of work benefits, or in families where their gross income is less than 60% of the national median income.  Four Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in Bedford Town (parts of Castle, Cauldwell and Harpur wards) are among the 0-10% most deprived areas in England, and a further 7 LSOAs are among the 10 – 20%  most deprived nationally

 

Approximately 20% of children in Bedford Borough are raised in income deprived households (IDACI measure), but some areas have far higher rates with Kingsbrook and Goldington wards having average rates of 37.7% and 35.5%, rising to more than 50% in the most deprived parts of Castle, Goldington and Kingsbrook wards.

 

Two-thirds of children living in poverty are in lone parent families, and 45% are in families with three or more children

 

Children in Need

Analysis of local Social Care data in Bedford Borough highlights the following themes and trends;

 

  • Young children in our most disadvantaged wards (e.g. Cauldwell and Kingsbrook) are significantly more likely to require intervention from local social care services
  • Bedford Borough has 23 children under the age of five who have "Looked After" status. 

 

Early Years Foundation Stage

 

Analysis of local early years foundation profile scores:

 

The EYFS Profile summarises and describes children’s attainment at the end of the EYFS. It is based on ongoing observation and assessment in the three prime and four specific areas of learning, and the three characteristics of effective learning.

The overall progress of children in a locality can be measured using scores taken from the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP) in the reception year. The profile is a universal process implemented by all schools.

 

Children are defined as having reached a ‘Good Level of Development’ at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage if they achieve at least the expected level in:

  • The early learning goals in the prime areas of learning (personal, social and emotional development: physical development; and communication and language)

and

  • The early learning goals in the specific areas of mathematics and literacy.

 

Supporting measure for the Good Level of Development is the average point score across all Early Learning Goals

  • This measures the total number of points achieved on the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile
  • The national measure would be the average of every child’s total point score

 

The scores are as follows:

  • Emerging 1
  • Expected 2
  • Exceeding

 

2014/15 Analysis

Overview and brief analysis of EYFSP results:

FSA analysis

Bedford Borough

In Bedford Borough there has been an increase in pupils achieving a good level of development by 3.8% to 60.8% from 2014, and the percentage achieving at least the expected level across all early learning goals has also increased by 2.9% to 58%.  the average point score hpowever has decreased from 33.4 in 2014 to 33.0 in 2015.

 

Gender analysis - in Bedford Borough as with the national figures, grils cotninue to do better than boys in the three key measures, but unlike the national trend, the gender gap has increased for all three key measures.  In 2014 Bedford Borough had the lowest gender gaps in comparison to our statstical neighbours for all three key measures, for 2015 the ranking for the gender gaps has slipped to 8th for average point score and 9th in the other 2 key measures.

 

The gender gaps for percentage achieving a good level of development has increased by 3% from 13.5% in 2014 to 16.5% in 2015.  Similarly the gap for the percentage achieving at least the expected level in all early learning goals also increased by 3% from 14.8% in 2014 to 17.8% in 2015.  As with the national figures, both girls and boys have improved by for Bedford Borough girls have improved at a faster rate in these 2 key measures.

 

Unlike the national picture the average total points socre declined for both genders in Bedford Borough, with boys declining at a greater rate.  Although as per the national trend girls continue to outscore boys.  The gender gap in average total point score has increased from 2.3 in 2014 to 2.7 points.  Bedford Borough girls are now ranked 10th in all of the key measures in comparison to our 10 statistical neighbours.  In 2014 they were 8th for average point score by 10th in the other 2 key measures.  Bedford Boys are now ranked 10th for those achieving a good level of development but 11th for the other 2 key measures in comparison to our statistical neighbours.  In 2014 Bedford Boys were ranked 6th for average point score; 8th for those achieving expected level across all early learning goals and 9th for those achieving a good level of development. 

 

Free School Meal Analysis: other pupils continue to outperform the FSM pupils at all levels (LA, Statisticial Neighbours and National) in all 3 key areas.  Since 2014 the gap between the Other pupils and FSM pupils for those achieving at least the expected standard in all ELGs and those achieving a good level of development have reduced at all levels (LA, Statistical Neighbours and National).  The gap in Average Point Score has reduced for Bedford Borough and Statistical Neighbours since 2014 but remained static at National level.  The gaps in Bedford Borough are lower than Statistical Neighbours and National figures (low is good) and have reduced by a greater ate since 2014.  In 2015 National and statistical neighbours figures inceased in the 3 key areas for both groups (the FSM pupils and others).  For Bedford Borough in 2015 there were increases in those achieving at least the expected standard in all ELGs and those achieving a good level of development but the Average Point Score declined for all groups in 2015.

 

Ethnicity Analysis:  at National and Statisticial level every ethnic group improved in all 3 key areas.  For Bedford Borough only the Asian group improved in all key areas.  All other ethnic groups saw a decline in their average point score.  The rankings in comparison to our statistical neighbours fell for all ethnic groups apart from Chinese.  The Asian group in Bedford Borough saw the biggest increases in those achieving at least the expected standard in all ELGs and those achieving a good level of development but remained ranked 11th in comparison to our statistical neighbours as per 2014.

 

SEN analysis:  at National level for 2015 every SEN group improved or remained as per 2014 in all 3 key areas.  For Bedford Borough in 2015 there were increases in those achieving at least the expected standard in all ELGs and those achieving a good level of development for all groups.  The Average Point Score for Bedford Borough declined for all groups in 2015.  Nationally the biggest improvement was for those achieving at least the expected level in all ELGs in the "no identified SEN" group (a rise of 6%.  For Bedford Borough the biggest improvement was for those achieving a good level of development in the "SEN Support" group (a rise of 5%).  For Bedford Borough the rankings in comparison to our statistical neighbours fell for all groups apart from the average point score for the SEN/EHCP group.  Bedford Borough rose to 6th in this category (9th in 2014).

 

Language analysis:  Non EAL pupils continue to outperform the EAL pupils at all evels (LA, Statistical Neighbours and National) in all 3 key areas.  Since 2014 the gaps between the non EAL pupils and EAL pupils for all key areas has reduced at all levels (LA, Statistical Neighbours and National).  The gaps in Bedford Borough have reduced at a greater rate than National and Statistical Neighbours snce 2014 (low is good).  In 2015 National and Statisticla Neighbour figures increased in the 3 key areas for both groups (the EAL pupils and non EAL).  For Bedford Borough in 2015 there were increases in both groups for those achieving at least the expected standard in all ELGs and those achieving a good level of development.  For Bedford Borough the Average Point Score improved for the EAL pupils but declined for the non EAL pupils compared to 2014.  EAL pupils in Bedford improved in 2015 at a greater rate (up by 9%) than at National (up by 7% and Statistical Neighbour (up by 6% level for those achieving the expected standard in all ELGs and those achieving a good level of development.

 

National statistics: In the same period national figures have continued to increase and now outperform Bedford Boought in all measures.  66.3% of children achieved a good level of developments (an increase of 5.9% on 2014), 64.1% of pupils achieved at least the expected level across all early learning goals (an increase of 6.1%) and the average total point score has increased from 33.8 to 34.3.

 

National gender analysis:  girls continue to do better than boys, but the gender gaps has decreased for two of the three key measures.  The gender gap for percentage achieving a good level of development has reduced from 16.3% in 2014 to 15.6% in 2015.  Similarly the gap for the percentage achieving at least the expected level in all early learning goalds decreased from 17.3% in 2014 to 16.6% in 2015.  Both girls and boyys have improved but boys have imporved at a faster rate in these 2 key measures.  The average total points score increased for both genders with girls still outscoring boys.  The gender gap in average total point score has increased slightly from 2.5 in 2014 to 2.6 points.

 

Statistical neighbours:  Bedford Borough is currently ranked 10th in all three key measures in comparison to our10 statistical neighbours.  This is a decline on 2014 when Bedford Borough was 8th in terms of average point score and the percentage achieving at least the expected level across all early learning goals;and 9th for those achieving a good level of development.

 

Universal provision - EYFSP Scores for all children:  Bedford Borough's performance over the three years has demonstrated a trend of improvement but is still below the 2014/15 national and statistical neighbours figures.

 

FSA2

 

FSA

FSA

FSA

 

Current Activity and Services

 

Local childcare market and early years provision:

 

The local Childcare and Early Years market incorporates a mix of providers from the maintained, private, voluntary and independent sectors. This includes;

 

  • 124 Childminders
  • 31 Day Nurseries
  • 46 Pre-Schools
  • 22 Maintained schools with nursery age children
  • 4 academies with nursery age children
  • 3 Maintained Nursery Schools

 

Overall, recent changes in the market have tended to be driven by expansion by schools into delivery of early education for three and four year olds and the private and voluntary sector in the delivery of early care and education for vulnerable two year olds.

 

In addition, there are also other key statutory and non-statutory services that support children and families in the Foundation Years, including;

  • 15 children’s centres clustered into four networks
  • Maternity and midwifery services
  • Community Health Provision – Including Health Visitors
  • Voluntary and Independent Sector Led Provision – Such as Toddler Groups and family support services

 

What are the key inequalities?

Addressing Inequality – The gap between lowest scoring 20% and the rest:

In 2015, the gap between the lowest achieving 20% in the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile and all children in Bedford increased in terms of average point score distribution.  In 2015 there is a 39.1% gaps in Bedford Borough compared to a 32% gap nationally (this compared to a gap in Bedford Borough on 33.8% in 2013 and 35.3% in 2014).

 

Table 1: Narrowing the gap: EYFSP Average total point score distribution

FSA

 

Table A: Achievement in Early years Foundation Stage Profile teacher assessments by free school meal eligibility

Percentage achieving a good level of development

Pupils known to be eligible for free school meals

All Other Pupils

All Pupils

 

Bedford Borough

49

62

61

National

51

69

66

Source:  SFR - EYFSP attainment by pupil characteristics: 2015 - Table 6 - published 19.11.2015

 

Table B:  Achievement in Early Years Foundation Stage Profile teacher assessments by SEN provision 2015

nb for 2015, following SEND reforms, SEN pupils are categorised as "SEN with a statement or Education, Health and Care (EHC) plan" and "SEN support".  SEN support replaces school action and school action plus but some pupils remain with these provision types in the first year of transition

Percentage achieving a good level of development

Pupils with a statement of SEN or EHC Plan

SEN Support

No SEN

 

All pupils

Bedford Borough

X

17

66

61

National

4

24

71

66

Source:  SFR - EYSP attsainment by pupil characteristics: 2015 - Table 7 - published 19.11.2015

x: numbers too small.  Figures are suppressed by DfE to protect confidentiality of pupils.

 

Addressing Inequality - links between local deprivation and trends in EYFSP Scores:  As suggested below in Table2, in 2014 there was a significant gap in Bedford Borough between those who live in the 30% most disadvantaged areas and other children (nb this information is not available for 2015.  2015 results are published by region and by IDACI code only).

 

Table 2:  The percentage of children showing good level of development by deprivation status (2014)

% achieving a good level of development

 

All

30% most deprived

Other pupils

Gap

Bedford Borough

57

40

63

23

England

60

53

65

12

Source: Early years foundation stage profile results - 2013 to 2014 - Table 6 - Published 16.10.2014

Table 3 below provides further analysis of the 2013-2015 EYFSP data and the percentage achieving a GLD in the 8 wards that contained our most disadvantaged areas (which have at least one LSOA among the 0-20% most deprived LSOAs in England on the Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) 2015).

 

Table 3:  Percentage achieving GLD for the 8 most disadvantaged wards - 3 year trend 2013-2015

 

FSA

Brief analysis of the 8 most disadvantaged wards:

 

  • There has been a year on year imprivement in the percentage achieving a GLD over the 3 years in 5 of the 8 wards.  (Goldington, Harpur, Kempston North, Putnoe and Queens Park
  • Castle and Caudwell wards improved 2013 to 2014 but showed a decline for 2015.
  • Kingsbrook showed a decline 2013 to 2014 but in 2015 showed a significant improviement - exceeding the percentage achieved in both the previous years
  • Of the 5 that have improvied - improvement has been slowest in Kempston North.
  • Cauldwell Ward is the most static in terms of the percentage achieving a GLD - and in 2015 was teh lowest achieving ward
  • Queens Park was the lowest achieving ward in both 2013 and 2014 but in 2015 was ranked 5th out of 8 wards
  • Goldington has been ranked lst and Putnoe ranked 2nd out of the 8 wards every year.

 

(ward analysis based on postcode match of pupils and thier GLD results with latest ward postcode file as at December 2015)

 

Table 4: Percentage achieving GLD for all wards - 3  year trend 2013-2015

FSA

 

Table 5:  Percentage achieving a GLD - in order of ward ra nkings for Bedford Borough 2015 (showing 8 most disadvantaged against other wards)

 

FSA

 

What are the unmet needs/ service gaps?

Analysis of data and local intelligence indicates that improving outcomes for our youngest children remains a priority.  Underachievement in CLL and PSED and significant anecdotal feedback from the sector about children being ready to access learning at school (school readiness) means that there are a number of unmet needs and service gaps that must be addressed including:

  • Creating greater access to and take up of available free early education for our least advantaged two year olds in line with statutory requirements
  • Ensuring all early years providers are aware of the Early Help Assessment and can use it confidently to support families as early as possible
  • Ensuring vulnerable and disadvantated children receive targeted early years support through children's centres and early years
  • Ensuring that all 2 year olds receive an Integrated Two year Old Check
  • Ensuring parents are support in their role as their child's first and most enduring education
  • Early Years pupil premium and available support is access and used to best effect to narrow the gap for disadvanted children
  • Ensuring children in the early years in Bedford Borough receive the best pedagogical early years practice and teaching.

 

National & Local Strategies (Current best practices)

National policy drivers & research:

There has been a strong commitment by the Government to ensure that children receive the best possible start to life.  This has been highlighted in a number of national documents including Healthy Lives, Brighter Futures: the Strategy for Children and Young People’s Health (2009) and the Healthy Child Programme (2009)

The importance of Early Years has been further highlighted in Professor Sir Michael Marmot’s review Fair Society, Healthy Lives (2009) where it is stated that achieving long-term reductions in inequalities require actions particularly in Early Years and that, although important, interventions later in life are less effective where good early foundations of interventions are lacking.

The Government set out its vision for the services that should be on offer for parents, children and families in the foundation years through its Supporting Families in the Foundation Years policy statement (DfE - 2012)

Key priorities and themes in the document include:

  • Promoting the role of families as the most important influence in the foundation years
  • Evidence based early intervention in the foundation years
  • Ensuring a skilled and professional workforce
  • New partnerships between care, education and health providers

 

The policy statement also makes reference to a number of pieces of supporting evidence that highlights the importance of the Foundation Years, including:

The revised early years foundation stage (EYFS – 2014):

The statutory framework that provides national standards for the development, learning and care of children from birth to five. The new framework replaces the former EFYS that was published in 2007

Code of Practice for Children and Young people with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities (SEND) aged 0-25 years (revised 2014)

Statutory guidance which sets out the system for children and young people aged 0-25 years who have special educational needs and/or disabilities.  The Code of Practice provides legislative duties, policies and procedures relating to Part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014, including specific guidance for Education (including early years), Health and Social Care professionals, as well as guidance for LAs as to the role of Education, Health and Care (EHC) Plans and Personal Budgets.

Evaluation of national two year old funding pilots:

The key finding suggests that high quality support is crucial in delivering better educational, health and social outcomes for disadvantaged children (DfE - 2012)

Effective Pre-School Education – Longitudinal Study:

The quality of Pre-School has a significant impact on educational performance at Years R, 1 & 2 (Sylva, K et al, 2004)

It is also recognised that intervention in the foundation years provision should form the central element of approaches to early help.  Identifying vulnerable children and families at the earliest opportunity and delivering the right interventions (e.g. childcare or parenting) can therefore help reduce demand for more costly statutory interventions.  This position is reflected in the following research.

Early Intervention – Next Steps (Cabinet Office - 2012)

Offers an overview of evidence relating to the impact of child neglect in early years, implications for complications in later life and importance of emotional and social development;

Conception to age 2 – the age of opportunity (Department for Education and Wave Trust, 2013)

Offers a review of national and international evidence relating to the links between how we treat our youngest children (-9 months to age 2) and implications for emotional and social development.

Are you ready?  good practice is school readiness

An Ofsted survey report looking at how the most successful early years providers ensure that disadvantaged children are prepared to start school.

 

National sources of best practice:

The Early Intervention Foundation:

Assessment and validation of early intervention programmes, advice and guidance to local authorities and advocacy for the agenda

Early Intervention – Next Steps:

Offers and overview of evidence relating to the impact of child neglect in early years, implications for complications in later life and importance of emotional and social development;

Conception to age 2 – The age of opportunity:

Offers a review of national and international evidence relating to the links between how we treat our youngest children (-9 months to age 2) and implications for emotional and social development.

 

Also considers Social Return on Investment - A study of 9 early year’s projects across the UK demonstrated an average return on investment of £3.65 for every £1 spent

 

Ofsted:

 

Offers examples of good practice taken from Early Years Inspection processes – Including Leadership and Management, involving children in decision making and partnerships with parents 

 

 

Recommendations
 
  • To refresh the Bedford Borough Ear;y Years Strategy, collaboratively with an emphasis on Achieving Continuous Excellence (ACE) and a robust self-improvment framework which maximises the potential of the Teaching School Alliance
  •  To strengthen integrated working between practitioners in health, children's centres and early years with a focus on providing coherent services, consistent practice of the highest quality
  • To deliver a new framework for Children's Centres services which targets services to those who most need them and integrates service delivery with other services wherever possible
  • To deliver Capacity for Two's plan increasing places for 2 year olds in the areas fo the Borough where they are most needed
  • To sustain evidence based partnership resources in the foundation years (eg Family Nurse Partnership, Parents as First Teachers and Triple P)
  • To use local evidence and data to ensure resources are targeted and used appropriately to raise standards and specifically for the most disadvantaged groups
  • To implement the findings from the commissioned research into the Bedford Borough Characteristics of Effective Practice which support readiness for school
  • Through a targeted and evidence based Quality Assurance system provide effective support and challenge to all early years providers and practitioners
  • To develop the partnership with University of Bedfordshire which provides opportunities for Bedford Borough Early Years practitiioners t gain relevant higher level qualifications
  • Building the depth of engagement of partner agencies to support the delivery of the early years strategic priorities.

 

This section links to the following sections in the JSNA:

Children in Need

School Life

 

References

Department for Education, Supporting Families in the Foundation Years (2012)  Available at:http://www.education.gov.uk/childrenandyoungpeople/earlylearningandchildcare/early/a00192398/supporting-families-in-the-foundation-years (last accessed 31 July 2013)

https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ofsted

http://www.earlyinterventionfoundation.org.uk/

 

http://www.bedford.gov.uk/council_and_democracy/statistics_and_census.aspx  

Department for Education, The Early Education Pilot for Two Year Old Children: Age Five Follow-up Research report (March 2013).  Available at: https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/187483/DFE-RR225.pdf.pdf (last accessed 31 July 2013)

Sylva, K., Melhuish, E.C., Sammons, P., Siraj-Blatchford, I. and Taggart, B. (2004).The Effective Provision of Pre-School Education (EPPE) Project: Technical Paper 12 - The Final Report: Effective Pre-School Education. London: DfES / Institute of Education, University of London. Available at: http://www.ioe.ac.uk/research/66740.html (accessed 04 August 2014)

Allen, G. Early Intervention: The Next Steps, 2011, Cabinet Office, available at: http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/early-intervention-next-steps.pdf  (accessed 04 August  2014)

Wave Trust, Conception to age 2– the age of opportunity Addendum to the Government’s vision for the Foundation Years: ‘Supporting Families in the Foundation Years’, 2013. Available at: http://www.wavetrust.org/sites/default/files/reports/conception_to_age_2_-_the_age_of_opportunity_-_web_optimised.pdf (accessed 31 July 2013)

Bedford Borough Business Support Report for Children Services (June 2014)

 

Department for EducationSiraj-Blatchford, I. &, Muttoch, S. (2002) Institute of Education, University of London.  Research into the Effective Pedagogy in Early Years (REPEY)

 

Moyle, J., Adams, S., Musgrove, S. (2003) Anglia Polytechnic University: School of Educational Research and Development,  “Study of Pedagogical Effectiveness in Early Learning” (SPEEL)  HM Government, The Stationary Office

 

Field, F. (2010) “The Foundation Years: preventing poor children becoming poor adults”  DfE, The Stationary Office

 

Allen, G. (2011) “Early Intervention: the next steps”  Department for Work and Pensions cabinet Office

 

Back to top

 

To download and pring a PDF version of thischapter, please click here