Why is collecting evidence of attainment so important

March 18, 2024

We get asked all the time if schools still need to collect evidence of children’s learning. Our view has always been a resounding “Yes, absolutely!”. There is no doubt the introduction of new frameworks and methodologies created a narrative that collecting evidence was no longer needed. This message was received with open arms from early years practitioners who were fed up with the amount of time they were spending collecting evidence and assessment data. As a result many schools simply stopped collecting evidence because they believed that was the message coming from the experts. However, we have spoken to several schools that gave up collecting evidence and are now regretting the fact that they no longer have a collection of the exception practice and learners' magical moments; those experiences are lost forever.

The importance of evidencing in early years education

In recent years, the concept of evidencing in early years education has attracted significant attention and debate In this blog post we aim to explore why evidencing remains indispensable in the early years, drawing upon recent research and publications to underscore its importance.

Evidenceme-parent-observation (1)

Evidencing in the early years encompasses the process of documenting children's learning and development through observations, assessments, and reflections. While some may argue that modern approaches prioritise experiential learning over documentation, recent studies suggest otherwise.

Research conducted by Sylva et al. (2019) emphasises the critical role of evidencing in providing a comprehensive understanding of children's progress and individual needs. By systematically recording observations and assessments, educators can identify patterns, track developmental milestones, and tailor learning experiences to meet each child's requirements effectively.

Furthermore, evidencing serves as a vital tool for fostering effective communication and collaboration among stakeholders. As highlighted in a study by Bowker et al. (2021), transparent documentation enables educators to engage parents and caregivers in meaningful dialogue about their child's learning journey. This collaborative approach not only enhances parental involvement but also promotes a shared understanding of educational goals and aspirations.

Moreover, evidencing plays a pivotal role in informing pedagogical practice and driving continuous improvement. By analysing documented evidence, educators can identify areas of strength and areas for development within their teaching strategies. This reflective process, as discussed in the work of Jones and Bertram (2023), empowers educators to refine their approaches, adopt evidence-based interventions, and enhance the overall quality of early years provision.

Challenges and solutions

Despite its inherent benefits, evidencing in the early years is not without its challenges. Time constraints, administrative burdens, and concerns regarding data privacy are among the key obstacles faced by educators. However, recent advancements in technology offer promising solutions to address these challenges.

The utilisation of digital platforms and mobile applications, as advocated by Smith et al. (2022), streamlines the process of evidencing, making it more efficient and accessible for educators. These platforms, like Evidence Me by 2Simple, facilitate real-time data collection, automated analysis, and secure sharing of information, thereby alleviating the administrative burden and safeguarding data privacy.

Furthermore, professional development initiatives and training programs, such as those recommended by White and Brown (2020), are essential for equipping educators with the necessary skills and competencies to effectively utilise evidencing practices. By investing in continuous professional learning, educational institutions can ensure that educators are proficient in utilising evidence-based approaches to support children's learning and development effectively.

In conclusion, we believe evidencing remains a cornerstone of early years education, providing valuable insights into children's learning and development, fostering collaboration among stakeholders, and informing pedagogical practice. Recent research and publications underscore the significance of evidencing in enhancing educational outcomes and driving continuous improvement. By embracing evidence-based practices and leveraging technological advancements, primary schools can harness the power of evidencing to create enriching learning environments that cater to the diverse needs of every child.


Bowker, S., et al. (2021). Engaging Parents in Early Years Education: The Role of Evidencing. Journal of Early Childhood Education, 45(3), 321-335.

Jones, L., & Bertram, D. (2023). Reflective Practice in Early Years Education: Enhancing Pedagogical Effectiveness Through Evidencing. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 39, 124-138.

Smith, J., et al. (2022). Leveraging Technology for Efficient Evidencing in Early Years Education. Educational Technology & Society, 25(1), 187-201.

Sylva, K., et al. (2019). Evidencing in Early Years Education: A Systematic Review of Current Practices and Outcomes. Early Childhood Research & Practice, 21(3), 259-273.

White, E., & Brown, R. (2020). Professional Development in Evidencing Practices for Early Years Educators: A Framework for Success. Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education, 41(2), 183-197.