New analysis from Save the Children exploring the early learning gap and teacher supply


Children’s charity Save the Children has published two new pieces of analysis exploring recruitment and retention of early years teachers as well as new analysis of the DfE’s Early years foundation stage profile results: 2017 to 2018.

Looking firstly at the analysis of the DfE’s Early years foundation stage profile results: 2017 to 2018, the data reveals that that the early learning attainment gap between children from disadvantaged backgrounds and those from more well off backgrounds has widened in 76 of the 152 local authorities in England.  The analysis also reveals that, although the gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged children in early years has diminished in 52 local authorities, “progress in closing the early learning gap has stalled in 22 local authorities”.

Looking at the national picture, the analysis shows that “across the country two in five (43%) of all poor children are struggling with basic skills at age five, compared to just over a quarter (26%) of their better-off classmates – a national early learning gap of 17 percentage points”. This widening gap contributes to the vicious circle in which children who start school without the skills and tools needed may find it difficult to adjust and catch up with their peers in the future.

In their recent report, It all starts here, Save the Children also outline that there is a “shortage of nearly 11,000 graduate early years teachers in England” and “a shortage of around 2,000 early years teachers in the most disadvantaged area”. The analysis, which draws upon “368 survey responses and 51 phone interviews” with those working in early years, revealed that early years providers are struggling to recruit due, in part, to “dissatisfaction with pay and conditions”.

Those governing can read more about supporting disadvantaged pupils on the NGA guidance centre. For help supporting disadvantaged pupils in your school, please read NGA’s latest Spotlight on Disadvantage research report.

Published: 04/01/2019, by Tom Fellows
Last Updated: 04/01/2019, by Tom Fellows