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Cabinet Decision: 15th February 2018
Title of Item/Report
Early Years Assessment and Moderation Toolkit
Record of the Decision
Consideration was given to a report that outlined the rationale, structure and intended impact of the Early Years Assessment and Moderation Toolkit as well as proposing ways in which the positive impact upon the child development, school readiness and therefore pupil outcomes could be further supported by the effective dissemination of this resource.

Early Years outcomes for Stockton (as defined by children achieving a Good Level of Development - GLD) were well below the national average for several years. Sustained focus on improving school performance on this area by the 0-11 Team (Education Improvement Service) had ensured a strong trajectory of improvement, with 69% of pupils achieving GLD in 2017 (national average 71%) compared to 41% in 2013 (national average 52%).

This improvement reflected the impact of the work undertaken with schools and Early Years settings (including nurseries, playgroups, and childminders) to support practitioners in developing their understanding of child development and observational assessment, as well as developing practice and provision in response to these assessments.

A resource had been produced which captures the support and training that had been invested. This Early Years Assessment and Moderation Toolkit was a comprehensive document which aimed to support practitioners in making accurate assessments and providing a support for moderation, within individual schools/settings and across partnerships. It would also promote seamless transitions, particularly when used alongside Moving Forward 0-5 (the Early Years Transition Guarantee) to ensure that standards continued to rise.

The Tool looked at all 437 statements from Development Matters. This was the non-statutory guidance which broke down learning and development into age-related statements which described typical progression in each of the 17 areas of learning. Each of the 437 statements was unpicked, using examples relevant to practitioners and providing ideas for resources and links to further support for teaching and learning. The resource also models assessments of real children in real situations, helping practitioners (and other users of the resource) to understand the sometimes complex language of the original Development Matters statements.

The production of the Toolkit had involved a wide range of practitioners from schools and settings and had received very positive feedback from practitioners. The toolkit had been shared electronically with all schools and Early Years settings across the Borough.

There was interest from practitioners in buying hard copy versions of the Toolkit and it was suggests that the toolkit would be welcomed by settings and staff outside of Stockton. Given a similar resource was not available nationally there was a potential to market the resource (and associated training) more widely. This would start across the Tees Valley by promoting it to childcare chains, training providers, schools and academies, etc. If this approach was endorsed by Members then it could provide income generation for the service.

A full copy of the Toolkit was circulated to Members.

Members were delighted with the Toolkit and wished the achievement by Officers of the Council to be recognised. The Toolkit would be used across Schools and Early Years Centres across the Borough. Members hoped the Toolkit could be used nationally as excellent feedback had already been received from practitioners outside of the Borough.


1. The work of the Early Years Team (Education Improvement Service) who created the Early Years Assessment and Moderation Toolkit, together with support from schools and settings be noted and recognised.

2. The proposal to sell the resource to providers outside Stockton be endorsed.
Reasons for the Decision
Cabinet are able to monitor the quality of resources created by the Early Years team in order to further promote school readiness and continued increase in achievement of a Good Level of Development by Stockton children.
Alternative Options Considered and Rejected
Declared (Cabinet Member) Conflicts of Interest
Details of any Dispensations
Date and Time by which Call In must be executed
Midnight, 23 February 2018

Date of Publication: 19 February 2018

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