Non-funded sector must give councils data on five-year-olds from this month

3rd July 2009 at 01:00

Councils will get powers to require independent schools to pass on data about five-year-olds' academic and social achievements, despite objections from the sector.

The regulations, which come into force on July 22, will bring the estimated 225 independent settings that do not receive state funding into line with other early-years providers.

Currently, local authorities collect data from all nurseries that receive government funding, whether state, private or voluntary.

While non-funded schools have to carry out the assessment on five-year-olds - known as the early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) - they do not have to pass on the results.

But the Government says the information is needed to help councils ensure they are improving outcomes for all children.

The Independent Schools Council opposes the move, asking why the 95 per cent of data already available is not sufficient for effective analysis.

In a consultation on the proposals earlier this year, 14 of the 18 authorities that replied supported the idea of collecting data from all providers. But some said that, in order to analyse it, they would need the same contextual information - such as ethnic background and special educational needs status - from all providers.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families originally proposed that just a child's gender, date of birth and unique reference number should be collected along with their EYFSP score from non-funded providers. But following the consultation, councils will be allowed to collect all the additional data that is collected from funded providers - except a child's name and the hours of provision they receive.

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