Level of development at age 5
Data on the percentage of 5 year olds who achieve a ‘good level of development’, by socio-economic background.
Summary main findings
In the 7 school years ending in July 2019, the percentage of 5 year olds who achieved a good level of development (meeting at least the expected standard in the early years foundation stage) went up from 52% to 72%. It went down to 65% in the 2021 to 2022 school year.
In the 2021 to 2022 school year:
- 49% of pupils eligible for free school meals (FSM) and 69% of non-eligible pupils achieved a good level of development
- 75% of girls and 62% of boys achieved a good level of development – for pupils eligible for FSM, 57% of girls and 42% of boys achieved the level
- FSM-eligible children from Black, Asian and Mixed ethnic backgrounds were more likely to achieve a good level of development than FSM-eligible White children
- FSM-eligible pupils in London, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, and the West Midlands were the most likely out of all areas to to achieve a good level of development – pupils in Cumbria were the least likely to
Visualisation for by year
Percentage of pupils achieving a 'good level of development' at age 5 years, by eligibility for free school meals over time (England, September 2012 to July 2022)
Click or tap on legend items to toggle visibility
Data for by year
|School year||FSM-eligible pupils (%)||Non-eligible pupils (%)||All pupils (%)|
Visualisation for by area
Percentage of pupils achieving a ‘good level of development’ at age 5 years, by region and eligibility for free school meals (FSM) (England, academic year 2021 to 2022)
41 regions in the UK are ranked from the lowest to highest percentages. They are then divided into 5 equally-sized groups (‘quintiles’), from 1 (lowest) to 5 (highest).
The regional estimates have a large margin of error – do not rank or compare specific regions.
The lines either side of the dots represent confidence intervals – the range of values that the 'true' value for each region is highly likely to be within. In many cases the confidence intervals overlap. This suggests differences between specific regions may not be statistically significant.
See the composite indices for more precise estimates and to understand overall regional patterns.
Data for by area
|Region||FSM eligible (%)||Not FSM eligible (%)|
|Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire||43.7||66.3|
|Berkshire, Buckinghamshire and Oxfordshire||45.8||69.4|
|Cornwall and Isles of Scilly||47.0||69.2|
|Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire||49.2||68.8|
|Dorset and Somerset||47.1||68.9|
|East Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire||53.1||68.2|
|Gloucestershire, Wiltshire and Bath/Bristol area||45.3||70.7|
|Hampshire and Isle of Wight||48.8||72.1|
|Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Warwickshire||46.6||70.0|
|Inner London - East||58.8||69.9|
|Inner London - West||55.4||72.2|
|Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire||47.9||67.0|
|Northumberland and Tyne and Wear||49.1||69.0|
|Outer London - East and North East||54.5||69.9|
|Outer London - South||55.2||72.3|
|Outer London - West and North West||54.8||69.3|
|Shropshire and Staffordshire||49.9||69.0|
|Surrey, East and West Sussex||46.9||72.4|
|Tees Valley and Durham||48.4||70.2|
Visualisation for by sex
Percentage of pupils achieving a ‘good level of development’ at age 5 years, by sex and eligibility for free school meals (England, academic year 2021 to 2022)
Click or tap on legend items to toggle visibility
Data for by sex
|Sex||FSM-eligible pupils (%)||Non-eligible pupils (%)|
Visualisation for by ethnicity
Percentage of pupils achieving a ‘good level of development’ at age 5 years, by ethnicity and eligibility for free school meals (England, academic year 2021 to 2022)
Data for by ethnicity
|Ethnicity||FSM-eligible pupils||Non-eligible pupils|
|Boys (%)||Girls (%)||Boys (%)||Girls (%)|
|Other ethnic group||41.8||54.0||52.1||64.5|
Department for Education. Early years foundation stage (EYFS) profile results from the 2021 to 2022 academic year, 2022.
September 2012 to July 2022
What the data measures
The data shows the percentage of pupils who achieved a ‘good level of development’ at 5 years old.
A child is classed as having a good level of development if they meet at least the expected standard in the early years foundation stage (EYFS).
Things you need to know
The EYFS was updated in September 2021. This means data for the 2021 to 2022 school year is not directly comparable with data for earlier years.
Data was not collected during the 2 school years ending in July 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Eligibility for free school meals (FSM) is used as an indicator of deprivation by the Department for Education. Children are eligible for FSM if their parents receive certain benefits.
Type of data
Read more in State of the Nation 2023 on GOV.UK.
This file contains the following variables:
- Indicator code
- Indicator name
- Area type
- Area code
- Area name
- Time period
- Socio-economic background
- Category type
- Sample size
- Lower confidence interval
- Upper confidence interval