The early years foundation stage profile (EYFSP) will not be mandatory this year, the government has announced.

Schools will instead be asked to use their “best endeavours” to carry out the assessment, which is how pupils’ development and learning is assessed in reception.

The Department for Education had previously said the process would go ahead, but backtracked today following last week’s decision to close schools to most pupils.

Schools minister Nick Gibb said the assessment was being made optional in “recognition of the additional pressures reception teachers face”.

“We are determined to give children a strong foundation for their future and will continue to monitor the situation and work with schools on next steps.”

Schools that do decide they are able to complete the EYFSP this year and provide the information to parents and year 1 teachers will not be subject to statutory external moderation, the Department for Education said.

There will also be no requirement to submit data to local authorities or to confirm whether they have completed it to the DfE. Guidance states that the decision is still “subject to parliamentary process”.

The EYFSP did not go ahead last year following the cancellation of all primary assessments.