Expected  performance standards are benchmarked at the standard  score achieved by the top 40% of children in the age validation sample

This allows us to show empirically by how much early learning programmes have to improve children’s performance in order to reach the standard. Children at risk (red) are well below the standard (green) and need significant assistance to come up to the standard, while those falling behind (yellow) are closer to the standard (green), and with support they should be able to achieve it.

School quintile group median scores are plotted on the graph for comparison purposes: Quintiles 4 and 5 in large dashes, Quintiles 2 and 3 in short dashes and Quintile 1 in dot dashes.