Guidance for schools on writing statutory end of year reports for parents.
This guidance has been updated to support teachers to prepare annual reports for parents following the cancellation of the 2020 to 2021 national curriculum assessments and partial school closures due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The guidance confirms that regulations have been laid to remove the requirement to report on national curriculum assessments and attendance.
Headteachers have a statutory duty to prepare annual reports for parents before the end of the summer term. The report must start from the day after the last report was given or the date of the pupil’s admission to the school (whichever is more recent).
Reports at the end of key stages 1 and 2 must cover:
- brief particulars of achievements in all subjects and activities forming part of the school curriculum
- comments on general progress
- details of how parents can arrange a discussion about the report with their child’s teacher
National curriculum assessments
Following the cancellation of the summer 2021 national curriculum assessments, the Department for Education (DfE) laid regulations to remove the requirement to report the outcomes of key stages 1 and 2 tests or teacher assessments in this year’s reports. These regulations also remove the requirement to include comparative information about the attainment of pupils of the same age in the school or nationally for this year’s reports. These regulations came into force on 20 April 2021.
DfE laid regulations to remove the requirement to report pupils’ attendance data for the 2020 to 2021 academic year, in recognition of the impact of COVID-19 on possible attendance. These regulations came into force on 12 May 2021.
Schools should take a proportionate approach in deciding what attendance information to include in their pupils’ reports. It is important that parents are informed about the education their child has received over the year but given the exceptional circumstances, we do not expect schools to provide quantitative attendance data, which would be difficult to compare with previous years’ data, particularly for the spring term. Where appropriate, schools may wish to include attendance data from the summer term but this is not required.
Schools may wish to provide a general statement on pupils’ attendance at school for the terms when all pupils were allowed to attend school, highlighting any concerns, and pupils’ participation in remote education when they could not attend due to following public health advice. This will be particularly important for schools who have not provided routine reports to parents about pupil engagement over the course of the pandemic. Schools are best placed to decide how to report on pupils’ school attendance and participation in remote education using the information they already hold.
Providing reports in 2020 to 2021
Schools should take a proportionate approach in deciding what information to include within their pupils’ reports. As in previous years, schools should decide the appropriate level of detail required within reports, recognising that pupils’ education may have been disrupted. Where schools have not already done so, they may wish to include an assessment of the education that pupils have missed or are not secure in due to the period of restrictions to school attendance. This could include, for example, a shortlist of catch-up priorities and a brief summary of the school’s approach to addressing missed education.
Schools may also wish to include information on how they are making use of national recovery policies including the catch-up premium and national tutoring programme. To help schools make the best use of this funding, the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) has published a support guide for schools with evidence-based approaches to catch up for all students and a further school planning guide: 2020 to 2021.
Reports must contain details of how parents can arrange a discussion about the report with their child’s teacher. In fulfilling this requirement, schools need to take account of government guidance on the COVID-19 pandemic and the availability of staff. It may be most appropriate to hold a virtual meeting or hold a telephone discussion. Schools should also consider the most appropriate method by which to share reports with parents, which may be electronically.
More details on school reports and pupil records are contained in The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005 and Amendments.