The early years foundation stage (EYFS) sets the standards for the learning, development and care of children from birth to 5 years old.

In October 2019, DfE launched a public consultation seeking views on changes to the statutory framework for the EYFS. The consultation includes proposed changes to the educational programmes, the early learning goals and the EYFS profile assessment.

Key documents

DfE consultation document

The consultation ran from 24 October 2019 to 31 January 2020.

Consultation summary

This document provides a summary of the consultation document.

Changes to the Areas of Learning and Early Learning Goals comparison table

This document compares the Areas of Learning and Early Learning Goals in the current EYFS framework to the proposals in the EYFS reforms consultation.

EYFS pilot findings

Between 2018-19, revised pilot materials have been tested in a number of schools and evaluated by the Education Endowment Foundation, in partnership with NatCen Social Research and Action for Children

The key findings from the evaluation include:

  • Participants viewed the revised ELGs positively overall, describing them as clearer than previous ELGs. They also made practical suggestions about improving the revised ELGs.
  • Schools reported their workload had reduced due to the reduced expectations for assessment and evidence-gathering. Staff used this extra time to spend with children.
  • The revised ELGs by themselves were not felt to be sufficient: teachers wanted supporting materials, such as exemplification and curriculum guidance.
  • There were mixed views about whether children would be better prepared for key stage 1 as a result of the changes.
  • Teachers welcomed using their own judgement and felt empowered to do so. However, some felt that external moderation would still be important for ensuring consistency.

Foundation Years webinar

We were delighted to have Henna Jawaid, Team Leader: EYFS Reform Team at the Department for Education and Hannah Piggott, Senior Researcher at NatCen join us live to talk to the early years sector about the consultation and the pilot findings.

The session covered:

  • EYFS reforms context and update
  • Scope of the consultation
  • Overview of the proposed changes
  • Supporting the workforce and implementation
  • Pilot findings: understanding and using the revised ELGs

You can view the webinar below and download the webinar slides here.