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Elusive foundation data

Six months after the first foundation-stage profile results were due to be published, ministers still do not know when they will eventually be made public.

The controversial profile assesses five-year-olds at the end of their reception year against 13 nine-point scales. For example, on the emotional development scale point 4 is being able to take turns and share. Point 8 is understanding what is right, what is wrong and why.

Although pupil and school-level results are confidential, national results were due to be published in autumn 2003. But a DfES spokeswoman said: "No decision is going to be made about the national publication of results until the statisticians have looked at the quality of the data."

Linda Taaffe, foundation stage teacher at South Grove primary in Walthamstow, east London, is against publication, but said: "It is a disgrace that we have gone through the turmoil of a new initiative and they say now the information is useless."

The profile, which became compulsory last year, has been criticised as unwieldy and unhelpful.

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