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School readiness JSNA

The Joint Strategic Needs Assessment identifies key issues affecting the health and wellbeing of our residents, both now and in the future.

Are children ready to start school in Rochdale borough?

We measure school readiness at the end of reception year using the early years foundation stage profile.

In 2017-2018, 66.2% of children in Rochdale borough achieved a good level of development at the end of reception. This is below the national average of 71.5%.

We want children in the borough to start school healthy and ready to learn. See the work we're doing on getting children ready for school.

What is school readiness?

In the borough, we believe school ready children are curious, confident and co-operative. We consider a child ready to start primary school if they:

  • Are confident in approaching and communication with others.
  • Are excited and enthusiastic about learning.
  • Are resilient, ready to take on new things and solve problems.
  • Feel safe, secure, cared for, listened to, valued and respected.
  • Have a broad range of knowledge and skills are able to make choices.
  • Are active, healthy and can independently use self-care skills.
  • Have started to develop an awareness of their own emotions and behaviours.
  • Have started to develop their turn taking and co-operation with others.

Why is school readiness important?

A child who is ready for school is more likely to meet their full potential, throughout their schooling and in life beyond the school gates.

Too many children, especially those from poorer backgrounds, lack key skills of communication, language, literacy and mathematics when they start school. Gaps in achievement between the poorest and better-off children are often established by the age of 5.

Statistics on school readiness

Public Health England (PHE) - Early years health profiles - PHE produces a number of reports and resources on child and maternal health which can be accessed through their data and analysis tools portal. These profiles include data on health that contribute towards children being ready for school.

Early years foundation stage attainment data - statistics on early years foundation stage profile assessments including breakdowns by pupil characteristics.

Guidance on school readiness

National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guidance - the social and emotional wellbeing: early years guidance covers support for the social and emotional wellbeing of vulnerable children under 5 through home visiting, childcare and early education.

Public Health England (PHE) – giving every child the best start in life guidance - PHE produced this guidance aimed at increasing the proportion of children who are ready to learn at 2 and ready for school at age 5. It includes information on the importance of early years and the role that health professionals play in getting children ready for school.

Related pages


01706 925035

Phone: Monday-Friday 8am-5pm.

Public Health and Wellbeing
Floor 3
Number One Riverside
Smith Street
Rochdale OL16 1XU