The lowest-attaining pupils did slightly worse than their peers in reception this year, reversing a trend of improvement seen since 2013.
New data on the early years foundation stage profile out today shows the attainment gap between the lowest-attaining 20 per cent of pupils and all pupils widened to 31.7 per cent this year, up from 31.4 per cent in 2016.
This is due to a slight fall in the average point score of lower-attaining pupils, from 23.3 in 2016 to 23.2 this year. The average point score for all children remained at 35.5 this year, the same as it was last year.
The attainment gap had steadily fallen in recent years, from 36.6 per cent in 2013 to 33.9 per cent in 2014, and from 32.1 per cent in 2015 to 31.4 per cent in 2016.