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Three interim reports published - 15/07/2021


This week, we release our first major output from the ICKLE project: a series of three interim reports analysing the impact of the lockdowns on progress towards Early Years Foundation Stage goals by children in reception and year 1.  The illustrated reports present insights into schools’ learning provision, caregiver experiences of home learning, and children’s progress against EYFSP goals in Mathematics, Literacy, Communication & Language, and Personal, Social & Emotional Development. Each contains quantitative and qualitative data, expert analyses of the factors that have affected progress, comparison with other published reports, and recommendations for educational practice and policy.

The individual reports provide evidence from the three major areas of our project findings:

1.       Schools' remote education provision for reception children during the Spring 2020 lockdown. Overall, there was considerable variability across schools and curriculum areas regarding the amount and type of resources provided, and how guidance was communicated to caregivers.

2.       Caregiver experiences of facilitating home learning for reception children during the Spring 2020 lockdown. Again, there was substantial variation in all of the aspects of home learning which we investigated. Our data highlight the negative impact of known inequalities such as level of disadvantage, as well as new inequalities such as the availability of adult supervision.

3.       Progress of reception children during the Spring 2020 lockdown in Early Years Foundation Stage curriculum areas. We found that children in reception during the first lockdown made less progress than expected in all four of the EYFSP areas investigated, but particularly in Literacy and Mathematics, where a third of children made no progress. Compared to the 2019 averages, significantly fewer children achieved the expected levels, with the largest gap for Literacy. We identified a range of child and home learning factors associated with children's progress. These included well-established factors such as SES and SEND, but the impact of additional needs extended beyond formal identification, to include those children who would normally receive extra classroom support. We also found that children using EAL made less progress in reading.

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