New figures show that Nottingham has seen real improvement in the development of children under the age of five.

The Department for Education data shows that the city has closed the national gap significantly in the past year in the assessment that takes place at the end of the EYFS year, the Early Years Foundation Stage Profile (EYFSP).

The purpose of the EYFSP is to provide a reliable, valid and accurate assessment of individual children at the end of the EYFS.  The EYFSP data is used to inform parents about their child’s progress, provide a smooth transition to key stage one for the pupil, and help Year 1 teachers plan an effective curriculum to meet the needs of all pupils.

The latest figures show:

  • A total of 58 per cent of pupils in Nottingham have now been assessed as having reached a ‘good’ level of development in the EYFSP in 2015 – an improvement of 11.5 per cent compared with 2014 when the national average was 60 per cent
  • For boys, 50 per cent reached the level in 2015 – up 11.4 per cent on last year
  • For girls, 66.3 per cent reached the level in 2015 – up 11.3 per cent on last year

The data also shows that girls continue to outperform boys at this age group, with the 16.3 per cent gender gap between the two up just 0.1 per cent on 2014.

The improvement this year has been down to a number of factors including specific training being introduced based on the analysis of last year’s data, which identified keys areas for development including reading, writing, language development and maths.

There has been a 10.3 per cent point increase in writing standards in 2015 compared with 2014, and 7.6 per cent point increase in both reading and maths. Meanwhile, an 8.4 per cent point increase in language saw the boys improve more than the girls (a 9 per cent point increase for boys, compared to a 7.6 per cent point increase for girls).

Councillor David Mellen, Portfolio Holder for Early Intervention and Early Years at Nottingham City Council, said: “It is really encouraging to see that Nottingham has improved so much in the past year and closed the gap significantly on other areas of the country when it comes to the development of young children.

“We know that, historically, children from the city fall behind their peers when it comes to preparing for school and into their reception year, so it’s heartening to see that we are making real progress in this area.

“The positive steps taken during these vital early years of a child’s development can impact hugely on their future. Giving them a solid platform means that they can focus on achieving their full potential rather than having to catch up with others their age.”