Development in 4 to 5 year olds
1. Main facts and figures
- 63.4% of 4 to 5 year olds met the ‘expected’ development standard in all 17 early learning goals by the end of the 2021 to 2022 school year
- 71.7% of pupils from the Chinese ethnic group met the standard – the highest percentage out of all ethnic groups
- in all 5 aggregated ethnic groups (Asian, black, mixed, white and ‘other’), pupils eligible for free school meals were less likely to meet the standard than non-eligible pupils
- in every ethnic group, girls were more likely to meet the expected standard than boys
- among Asian pupils, girls were more likely than boys to meet the expected standard in 136 out of 147 local authorities where data was available
- among black pupils, girls were more likely than boys to meet the expected standard in 130 out of 133 local authorities where data was available
2. Things you need to know
What the data measures
The data measures the percentage of pupils in England who met the expected development standard at the end of the early years foundation stage (EYFS), or ‘reception year’. Teachers assess pupils at the end of the school year in which they turn 5 years old.
Each child’s level of development is assessed against 17 early learning goals. The assessment is based on classroom observation, and children are assessed as having either an ‘expected’ or ‘emerging’ level of development.
Percentages are rounded to one decimal place.
Not included in the data
The EYFS profile is completed for all children unless:
- the child is in the EYFS after the year in which they turn 5
- the child is exempt because their family’s religious or philosophical beliefs conflict with the EYFS
- the school is exempt – this applies to independent schools and schools whose principles conflict with the EYFS
The ethnic groups used in the data
The data uses categories from the Department for Education’s (DfE) school census. This is based on the 19 ethnic groups used in the 2021 Census, with 2 exceptions:
- the Gypsy and Roma categories are combined, and traveller of Irish Heritage is separate
- there is no separate Arab ethnic group within the ‘other’ ethnic group
Data by local authority and free school meals eligibility is shown for 5 aggregated ethnic groups:
This means estimates are shown for these groups as a whole. This is because the number of people surveyed was too small to make any reliable conclusions about individual ethnic groups.
The ethnicity was not known for 3% of pupils.
Read the detailed methodology document for this data.
Changes to the EYFS were introduced in September 2021. Because of this, it is not possible to directly compare assessment outcomes with earlier years.
In the data file
Download the data to see data broken down by:
- local authority
- eligibility for free school meals
3. By ethnicity
|Mixed White/Black African||64.8||5,924|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||60.5||10,180|
|White Irish Traveller||34.6||674|
4. Data sources
Type of data
Type of statistic
Department for Education
Purpose of data source
The early years foundation stage profile aims to:
- support pupils' transition to key stage 1 (which they take from 5 to 7 years old)
- help teachers to plan an effective, responsive and appropriate curriculum for all pupils
- inform parents and carers about their child’s development against early learning goals
5. Download the data
This file contains the following: measure, time, time_type, geography_type, geography_code, geography, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, fsm_eligibility, gender, denominator, value and value_type
This file contains the following: measure, time, time_type, country_code, country_name, region_code, region_name, geography, geography_type, geography_code, geography_code_type, ethnicity, ethnicity_type, gender, denominator, value and value_type