Foundation stage attainment (school readiness)


Every child deserves the best possible start in life and the support that enables them to fulfil their potential. Children develop quickly in the early years and a child’s experiences between birth and age five (known as the Early Years Foundation Stage or EYFS) have a major impact on their future life chances.

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) attainment measures the level of development, learning and care of children when children reach 5 years of age.

Children achieving a good level of development (GLD) are those achieving at least the expected levels across 17 early learning goals categorised under 3 prime areas and 4 specific areas of learning:

Prime areas Specific areas
  • Communication and language – Listening and attention, understanding and speaking
  • Physical development – Moving and handling, health and self-care
  • Personal, social and emotional development – self-confidence and self-awareness, managing feelings and behaviour, making relationships
  • Literacy – reading, writing
  • Mathematics – numbers, shapes, spaces and measures
  • Understanding the world  – people and communities, the world, technology
  • Expressive arts and design – exploring and using media and materials, being imaginative


At the end of the EYFS, children are considered to be working below (emerging), at (expected), or beyond (exceeding) expected levels of development.

All schools in Bracknell Forest follow the guidelines and principles that are laid down in the statutory 2014 Foundation Stage Framework and Clarification Notes regulated by Ofsted.

Key inequalities and risk factors

The percentage of children achieving a good level of development at the end of reception is reported annually in the Public Health Outcomes Framework.

The attainment of children can vary widely and some groups are particularly vulnerable.  The Department of Education Early years foundation stage profile results in England, 2015 highlights a range of inequalities at national level:

  • Gender – girls continue to outperform boys although the gender gap has reduced from 16.3 points in 2014 to 15.6 points in 2015
  • Ethnicity – Asian, Black and other ethnicities fall below the national average, as do pupils with English as an additional language
  • Socio-economic factors – for example, take up of free school meals, disadvantage and looked after status
  • Disability or long-term condition – children with special educational needs (physical, emotional, sensory and learning) or young carers of others with a disability or long-term condition

The Children and Young People’s department at Bracknell Forest Council monitors the attainment of these groups and aims to support schools in order to combat inequalities that may exist.

Facts, figures and trends

Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) attainment

The Public Health Outcomes Framework shows EYFS attainment in Bracknell Forest over the period 2012/13 to 2014/15.

In 2015/16, 74% of pupils in Bracknell Forest achieved a GLD at the end of reception. This continues the upward trend in levels of attainment year on year with the 2015/16 figure statisitically significantly better than the England average of 69%.(Department for Education, 2016)

% achieving GLD at end of reception year (2013/14-2015/16)

In 2015/16, 81.3% of girls and 66.6% of boys achieved a GLD by the end of reception, presenting a gender gap of 14.7%. The gender gap in Bracknell-Forest is narrowing year on year and in 2016 the gender gap (14.7%) was in line with the figure for England (Department for Education, 2016).

% boys and girls achieving GLD at end of reception year (2013/14-2015/16)

Risks to development

Take up of free school meals is an indicator of children from poorer backgrounds who are more at risk of poorer development. In 2016 7.6% of pupils in Bracknell-Forest claimed free school meals which is a reduction on the figure for 2015 which was 8.5%.

Of children eligible for free school meals achieving a GLD at the end of reception in the borough, 52% achieved a GLD which is in line with attainment nationally. This is a reduction in levels of attainment for free school meal children and plans are in place to improve levels of attainment for this group of children in 2017.

% all children with free school meals achieving GLD 2013/14-2015/16

The table below shows that over time, more boys and girls in receipt of free school meals are achieving GLD.  However, girls’ achievement is better than boys each year and the gap between the two, despite an initial drop in 2013/14, appears to be increasing:

% boys and girls with free school meals achieving GLD 2013/14-2015/16

The Lost Boys report (2016) examines the consequences of falling behind in language and communication and quantifies, for the first time, the impact of the gender gap at age five on primary school attainment.

The percentage of pupils achieving a GLD in Bracknell Forest in 2013/14 varied between different characteristics. All ethnic groups had higher or similar achievement levels than the national comparators. In Bracknell Forest, 70% of pupils from a mixed ethnic group achieved a GLD in 2014, 66% from Black ethnic groups, 63% from White ethnic groups and 62% from Asian groups. Data for children from Chinese groups was suppressed due to small numbers.

Of borough pupils in reception, 13.7% did not have English as a first language in 2014, compared to 17.7% in England. In Bracknell Forest there was only a 3% point gap in good level of development between pupils who had English as a first language and those that did not. This is lower than the 10% point gap identified nationally (Department for Education, 2014).

Want to know more?

There would be value in ensuring that provision is continued to support those in vulnerable groups. Success in this area could help reduce educational gaps and also raise the number of children achieving good development at foundation stage.

Child Health Profile (Public Health England) – a range aggregated data and performance measures relating specifically to child health and wellbeing in the borough.

Dynamic Report for Bracknell Forest (National Child and Maternal Health Intelligence Network) – gives high level statistical data and analysis on child development at 2 to 2 ½ years (placeholder) and school readiness.

Early Years Foundation Stage statistics (Department of Education) – Local authority level statistics on early years foundation stage profile assessments including breakdowns by pupil characteristics for attainment.

Health Matters: Giving every child the best start in life (accessed 8 June 2016) is a resource for parents and professionals using or commissioning services, which brings together important facts, figures and evidence of effective interventions to tackle issues arising in the period from pregnancy to the age of two.

Public Health Outcomes Framework (Public Health England) – a range of aggregated data and performance measures relating to reception age children in the borough.


This page was created in March 2014 and last updated in 5 January 2017. Next review due April 2017.


Cite this page:

Bracknell Forest Council. (2017). JSNA – Foundation Stage Attainment. Available (Accessed: dd Mmmm yyyy.)


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