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agreeing on development ages and stages


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Having a hard time on a couple of fronts.

We have assessed a couple of children who have come to us from diff day nursery's. They have both given parents reports stating they are both 40-60m (not said starting, develop etc). We believe they are more developing 30-50m and this is agreed by the school which they attend in the afternoons and who we are attached to. I can see problems arising when we have parents eve and send out reports. When you send out reports do you actually state to parents where they are in their development?. My school doesnt report them to parents for this very reason but am i right in thinking as a preschool we have to? I am not concerned about these two children at all and would of course speak to parents if I was.

Then I have a little one due to attend next term. He has a portage that I do not agree with the levels they have assessed. He has cerebral palsy is 35 months old and they have said that in the last eight months he has made 24 months progress in social and is 42 months. He plays alongside others, says 2-3 words which are unclear. I know I have only seen him for about 6 hrs (induction visits) but I would never say he was at 42 months. Mum is really pleased as portage puts him ahead of his age. I queried with support worker and she said she determined by watching him at home with his sibling and what parents say. I will now find it very difficult as I baseline him a lot lower. There are other areas noticeably speech and language which I also observe lower.

Anyone else experiencing this? Thanks.

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There's no doubt children, can present very differently at home and therefore can be assessed as developing in a higher age band.

I have always tried to make it clear, in these circumstances, that the tracker and progress summaries, are from observations and assessments made 'in setting' - this is what we are seeing. It makes it easier to stand by your own judgement, if and when its queried.

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Hi Marley. Is it possible that portage are assessing him using something else? The reason I ask is that 42 months is very specific, unlike the EYFS which is more vague in terms of age bands? This could be part of the problem.

I think examples like these are quite common, and it just highlights more and more the need to have some kind of cross setting moderation, so that settings can come to an agreed picture of what each age band might 'look like'. Are you able to meet with the support worker, to see what things she is seeing that puts him where she has, not because you are disputing her expertise, but because you are not yet seeing it yourself, and are concerned that he is not yet showing the same signs in your setting as he is still settling?

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Definitely make it clear that your judgements are made on what you see in your setting and when you get together with the other professionals, you have clear evidence to back these up. They can then justify their judgements and you will see where the discrepancies are. This is an ideal opening for a conversation about being clear about the criteria against which you are judging and all agree on his next steps and to set a date for moderation.

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