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EYFS Reforms evaluation finds significant positive results

An independent evaluation into the 2021 Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Reforms has found that the changes have been well received across most of the sector, are bedding in well and addressing their intended objectives.

The 2021 reforms overhauled the Educational Programmes as well as the Early Learning Goals (ELGs), focusing on the critical areas that enable children to thrive now and in the future. The reforms made significant changes to the EYFS profile assessment, and reset approaches to ongoing assessment.

The evaluation report covered four groups: childminders, group-based providers, school-based pre-school providers, and reception. With a total of approximately 4,000 early years leaders and practitioners surveyed, the evaluation was conducted between October 2022 and March 2023 and included 60 follow up interviews.

Most settings found implementing the reforms easy, or at least unproblematic. Where settings encountered challenges, this related mainly to a lack of time or lack of guidance.

The majority of settings have reviewed and/or made changes to their curriculum and learning and development approach. Many settings report that they have now made this more child-focused and are appreciative of this flexibility.

Most also made changes to their assessment practices, with the majority reporting a decrease in the time they spent on assessments. Importantly, leaders and staff considered that this has had positive effects on children, as they now have better quality interactions with staff.

Read the full report here

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Published on 8th February 2024