• School Readiness
  • Review Vocational Education
  • Improving Higher Skills
  • Addressing Worklessness

What is school readiness?

School readiness is a measure of how prepared a child is to enter and succeed in school cognitively, socially and emotionally and the preparedness of schools to receive young children into the educational setting. Currently in England, the good level of development (GLD) is used to assess school readiness at age 5. Children are defined as having reached a GLD at the end of the Early Years Foundation Stage if they achieved at least the expected level in the early learning goals in the prime areas of learning (personal, social and emotional development, physical development and communication and language) and in the specific areas of mathematics and literacy.

However, school readiness starts at birth with the support of parents and caregivers, when young children acquire the social and emotional skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for success in school and life.

What school ready children look like?

  • Ability to communicate their needs and have a good vocabulary
  • Ability to socialise with peers and form friendships
  • Enjoys listening to and telling stories
  • Good motor control and balance for a range of physical activities
  • Ability to recognise numbers and quantities in the everyday environment
  • Ability to participate in music activities such as singing rhymes and songs
  • Ability to take turns, sit, listen and play
  • Eating independently with a fork and spoon
  • Are independent in going to the toilet and getting dressed except for laces, ties and back buttons

In addition to:

  • having good oral health;
  • being well nourished and within normal weight for height
  • and having received all childhood immunisations

What works to improve school readiness?

  • good maternal mental health
  • learning activities, including speaking to your baby and reading with your child
  • enhancing physical activity
  • parenting support programmes
  • high-quality early education

There is a significant amount of work being undertaken across services and with partners to improve the number of children who enter school with a good level of development.