Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework reforms 2021

See information about the EYFS Statutory Framework to be used from 1 September 2021 below. 

This is the revised and final EYFS Framework that all registered nurseries, childminders, schools and pre-schools in England will follow from 1 September 2021. Access our ‘Revised EYFS’ live virtual classroom training here.

Early years settings must continue to follow the Early Adopter Framework) must continue to follow the current EYFS Framework until 1 September 2021, however, the revised Framework is available for all settings to help them prepare for the changes.

Order your printed copy of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework 2021 here.

Aim of reforms

The aim of the 2021 EYFS reforms is to improve outcomes for children at age five, with a focus on improving their early language skills and to reduce unnecessary workload for practitioners so they can spend more time supporting and teaching children in their care.


To support the sector implementing the reforms, the Department for Education (DfE) has provided support materials, including vodcasts for school leadership and practitioners, and a new online support package for PVIs and childminders, as well as revising the EYFSP Handbook.

Already available support includes a new non statutory curriculum guidance, Development Matters, first published September 2020 and revised July 2021. It provides a top-level view of how children develop and learn and guides but does not replace, professional judgement. The department will consider making refinements ahead of statutory roll out of the reforms after early adopter feedback.

Legislative Consultation Process

DfE published the draft statutory instrument and draft new EYFS framework for comment until 18 March 2021.

DfE sought views on minor changes to the safeguarding and welfare section of the revised EYFS statutory framework. These changes were not included as part of the full public consultation launched in October 2019, as they constitute minor updates to clarify common questions on existing policy or to reflect updates in the law since the last revision of the EYFS was published in 2017. A number of responses were received and considered carefully before finalising the framework.

The new EYFS Framework includes statutory guidance for the administration of the Reception Baseline Assessment (RBA), set out in Annex B. The RBA is a short assessment, taken in the first six weeks in which a child starts reception. The assessment will take place within the reception year and is, therefore, included within the overall EYFS statutory framework. While the statutory requirements for administering the RBA and undertaking the EYFSP are set out within the same framework, they are not related and they serve different purposes. The Standards and Testing Agency will provide further information about the RBA in the 2021/22 academic year in due course.

Birth to 5 Matters

Birth to 5 Matters is guidance produced by the sector, for the sector, to support the introduction of the revised Early Years Foundation Stage in England in 2021. It is non-statutory guidance which practitioners may use to support their implementation of the Statutory Framework for the Early Years Foundation Stage which sets out the legal requirements for delivering education for children from birth to 5 in England.

More support with EYFS Statutory Framework reforms 2021 

Get more support with our training and resources

  • See Department for Education’s vodcasts for more support
  • Revised EYFS live virtual classroom training
  • New EYFS training series – coming soon – each of the seven areas of learning and development will be delivered by our live virtual classrooms in two 90 minute modules. More details will be available here soon. For all your training needs call the team on 01484 407070 ext 228
  • Order your printed copy of the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS) Statutory Framework 2021 here.