Less five-year-olds are hitting their school targets in Lincolnshire

Fewer five-year-olds in Lincolnshire achieved a good level of development in 2018, according to standards set by the Department for Education.

Over the last school year, 69 per cent of the pupils reached this standard in the early years assessment, down from 70 per cent in 2017.

Less five year-olds in Lincolnshire are hitting their school targets. Photo: PA/Barry Batchelor

Less five year-olds in Lincolnshire are hitting their school targets. Photo: PA/Barry Batchelor

The average rate for England was 71.5 per cent.

The department benchmark for children with a ‘good level of development’ is to achieve the minimum expected level in five of the seven areas assessed.

These are personal, social and emotional development, physical development, communication and language, mathematics and literacy.

Pupils are also assessed in understanding of the world and expressive arts and design.

The evaluation is made by the teacher in the final term of reception.

The subject where most pupils met the minimum expected score in Lincolnshire was expressive arts and design. About 87 per cent of the pupils hit the mark.

The lowest level of achievement was in literacy - just 68 per cent of pupils met the Government’s minimum required mark.

All the modules this year had a lower proportion of students reaching the expected level than in 2017.

The greatest drop was in personal, social and emotional development. In 2017, 86 per cent of children met the standard, but this year it was 84 per cent .

A total of 7,875 pupils were evaluated in Lincolnshire in 2018, 3,951 girls and 3,924 boys.

The average mark across all the areas assessed was 34.5, out of a possible 51.

In England, the average mark was 34.6 in 2018.

Girls in Lincolnshire did better than boys, scoring on average 2.3 more points.

Rosamund McNeil, assistant general secretary at the National Education Union, said that assessments help teachers and parents know more about children’s capabilities.

She said: “The purpose of this assessment is to gather information and help teachers plan the next stage for that child.

“Practitioners are really supportive of it and they are very worried because they feel the Government does not like it because it is not just limited to numeracy and literacy.

“Gender is one of the factors, but not critical at this stage.

“You also have to take into account that 20 per cent of the kids may have some additional need and it really matters which month in the year children were born.

“Every child develops at a different pace from the age of three to 18, and that is something that everybody has to understand.”

Damian Hinds MP, the Education Secretary, added: “I want to make children’s literacy and narrowing the early years gap a national cause, a national mission.

“That’s why in July I set out an ambition to halve the number of children leaving reception without the right early communication and reading skills within the next ten years.

“Later this year, I am hosting a summit bringing together charities, businesses and other organisations to look at how we can provide practical support for parents to help them encourage their children to learn and develop.

“This will range from simple practical tools and guidance to investment in projects that have a proven track record of helping families most in need.”