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EYPP references in Ofsted's Common Inspection Framework

This page looks at the Common Inspection Framework and the expectations for EYPP using the handbook for Early Years Inspectors and the evaluation schedule as a guide.

Ofsted are going to be the arbiter of whether the EYPP funding has been spent in an impactful manner.  It is useful to remind ourselves of what the document and the handbook says in relation to EYPP. 

References to EYPP in the handbook and evaluation schedule

Where the reference is found

What reference says

Implications for your practice

Paragraph 36

During the initial phone call you will be asked if you have any children who are receiving EYPP.

Ensure you know who your EYPP children are.

Paragraph 53

The need to track experiences and developmental levels of certain children during the inspection process. Evidence must include the impact of any Early Years Pupil Premium funding on children’s progress.

Be clear about intended impact of EYPP spending and monitoring of actual impact.

Paragraph 54

If there are children eligible for EYPP at least one must be tracked.

Ensure the records of EYPP children are included in any sampling/monitoring undertaken.

Ensure the key person/key carers are confident in sharing strategies trialled, impact monitored and possible future developments for the child as well as the family.

Paragraph 147


Paragraph 168

Inspectors need to evaluate the extent to which the setting narrows any gaps in outcomes between any groups of children.

Inspectors must determine whether children who are disadvantaged or under-performing are catching up quickly

Ensure the progress of all children are tracked and trends are identified and acted upon.

Data is used to identify gaps and then developments are put in place to ensure accelerated progress ensues.


Paragraph 150

Inspectors should collect evidence of the effectiveness of the monitoring of children’s progress and interventions where needed to ensure that gaps are narrowing for groups of children or individual children identified as being in need of support.


Ensure any monitoring is analysed and contributes to setting challenging developments in relation to practice.

Paragraph 160

Although attendance at the setting is not mandatory, providers should be alert to patterns of absence that may indicate wider safeguarding concerns. Inspectors will explore how well providers work with parents to promote children’s good attendance, especially the attendance of children for whom the provider receives the early years pupil premium.

Ensure attendance is monitored regularly and strategies are in place to ensure children attend.  Working in collaboration with other professionals or settings may be necessary.

Adding attendance figures to summative records may help to address poor attendance.

Having an attendance policy which is shared/written with parents could be useful.

Having discussions with parents and phoning on the first day of absence can also help to address poor attendance.

Paragraph 168

Whether children who are disadvantaged or under-performing are catching up quickly

Ensure there is a focus on these children making accelerated progress.  Ensure experiences are offered that will motivate these children. Ensure these children are well supported by skilful staff.

The criteria for outstanding in the effectiveness of leadership and management

Highly effective monitoring identifies where children may be slow to develop key skills so that specific programmes of support are implemented to help them catch up. Gaps in achievement between different groups of children, especially for whom the setting receives additional funding, are negligible or closing.

Ensure staff understand that some groups of children will need to make accelerated progress and how the setting is ensuring this is happening. Ensure monitoring is regular, appropriate and leads to development.

The criteria for good in the effectiveness of leadership and management

Additional funding for disadvantaged pupils is used effectively to narrow gaps in outcomes.

Ensure staff know who the children are that receive EYPP and the strategies that have been put in place to close the gap and what might be trialled next.

The criteria for inadequate in the effectiveness of leadership and management

Leaders’ poor understanding of the learning and development requirements results in breaches that have a significant impact on children’s progress, particularly for disadvantaged children.

Ensure you have a sound understanding of how young children learn and that you ensure you are aware of and promote the development of children who may be disadvantaged or not making expected progress.

The criteria for outstanding for outcomes for children

Almost all children in the provision, including disabled children, those who have special educational needs, those for whom the setting receives additional funding and the most able, are making substantial and sustained progress that leads to outstanding achievement.

Ensure there are high expectations for all children and progress is tracked effectively and used to drive developments.  The focus on achievement is focussed where it will make a difference.

The criteria for outstanding for outcomes for children

Gaps between the attainment of groups of children in the setting, including those for whom the setting receives additional funding, have closed or are closing rapidly. Any differences between outcomes in different areas of learning are closing.

EYPP spending is focussed on ensuring these children make accelerated progress where necessary. Staff discuss cohort tracking data to ensure any gaps in provision or understanding by staff or families are used to drive developments in practice.

The criteria for good for outcomes for children

Children make at least typical progress and most children make progress that is better than typical from their starting points. This includes disabled children, those who have special educational needs, those for whom the setting receives additional funding and the most able.

Where children’s starting points are below those of other children of their age, assessment shows they are improving consistently over a sustained period and the gap is closing. Any gaps between the attainment  of groups, including those for whom the setting receives additional funding, are closing.

See above


The criteria for inadequate for outcomes for children

The learning and progress of individual or specific groups of children, including disabled children and those who have special educational needs and/or those for whom the setting receives additional funding, do not match the levels of progress made by most children.

Gaps between different groups show little sign of closing or may be widening.

Ensure all staff have high expectations for children and that they believe children will develop.  Ensure next steps are achievable as well as challenging. Ensure staff have a sound knowledge of child development.

Use tracking data to compare different groups of children to ensure a focus remains on this group of children.

Underachievement is challenged by staff and leadership.

In addition to this, it will be important for you to note that you know the context of your children and setting.  You are in an excellent position to share the impact of how you have spent this funding.  There are a range of tools at your disposal to help you, such as:
  • knowledge of your children, families and staff
  • tracking progress systems
  • monitoring of practice
  • notes from conversations with families
  • notes from conversations with outside professionals
  • training evaluations
  • reports from outside professionals
  • development plans
  • supervision records
  • EYPP spending plans

The quality of the information you share will influence the judgement you receive.

Questions to ask yourself and your team.

Remember good practice is underpinned by a sound knowledge of child development and what makes a difference to children's learning and isn't just something Ofsted want to see.