School reports on pupil performance: guide for headteachers

Guidance for schools on writing statutory end of year reports for parents.

Applies to England

By the end of each summer term, headteachers must send parents a written report on their child’s progress for the academic year, unless that pupil will receive a school leaver’s report. Where schools have not received the results of public exams, vocational qualifications or credits until after the end of the summer term, headteachers will need to provide that information to parents as soon as possible, and no later than 15 days after receiving it.

You can split the report across the academic year - for example, to report on each term separately.

School leavers’ reports

Where a pupil is no longer of compulsory school age and is due to leave the school, or has left the school, then the requirement to produce an annual report no longer applies. Instead, headteachers must provide a school leaver’s report containing brief particulars of the pupil’s progress and achievements in subjects and activities forming part of the school curriculum.

The report for school leavers must be provided to the pupil, rather than the parent, no later than 30 September following the end of the academic year in which the pupil left.

Information that must be reported in annual reports

Information All years Years 1 to 6 (key stage 1 and key stage 2) Years 10 and 11 (key stage 4)
General progress x x x
Brief particulars of achievements, highlighting strengths and developmental needs x x x
How to arrange a discussion about the report with a teacher at the school x x x
Attendance record x x x
The results of any national curriculum assessments taken by the pupil   x  
The grade achieved in subjects for which the pupil was entered for GCSE     x
Any other qualification, or unit towards a qualification, and the grade achieved     x

National curriculum assessments

Schools should report:

  • the outcomes of any statutory key stage 1  and 2 tests or teacher assessments the pupil has undertaken
  • comparative information about the attainment of pupils of the same age in the school and nationally

The Standards and Testing Agency provides further information about the requirements at key stages 1 and 2.

Grades achieved in GCSEs or other qualifications

Where schools receive the results of any qualification assessments after the end of the summer term, they should report the results to parents and adult pupils within 15 school days of receiving them. These requirements do not apply to pupils receiving a school leaver’s report.

Providing reports in the academic year 2023 to 2024

As in previous years, schools should take a proportionate approach in deciding what information to include within their pupils’ reports and the appropriate level of detail required.

Where schools have not already shared this information with pupils and parents, we strongly recommend that reports include an indication of any significant learning that pupils have missed or in which they are not secure. This should include an explanation of the timely and evidence-based support they have received to help them catch up, and any specific additional support that parents could provide.

Schools may also wish to consider including information for eligible pupils on how they are making use of pupil premium funding, bearing in mind that this is not a personal budget for individual pupils.

Schools should spend the pupil premium on evidence-based approaches to support pupils, in line with those set out in the Education Endowment Foundation’s pupil premium guide. For further information, read our guidance on using pupil premium.

Updates to this page

Published 25 March 2014
Last updated 8 May 2024 + show all updates
  1. Updated guidance for the academic year 2023 to 2024.

  2. Updated for the 2021 to 2022 academic year to remove references to temporary arrangements introduced for the pandemic and to reflect the publication of the Schools White Paper.

  3. Updated to confirm we have laid regulations to remove the requirement to report on attendance for the 2020 to 2021 academic year and on national curriculum assessments for summer 2021. There is also general information on what to include in reports for the 2020 to 2021 school year, given the disruption to assessments and attendance due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

  4. Updated to confirm regulations have been laid to remove the requirement to report on national curriculum assessments and attendance, and explain the different requirements of annual and school leaver reports.

  5. Updated guidance to support teachers to prepare annual reports for parents following the cancellation of this year’s summer exam series and primary assessments.

  6. Added school reporting requirements for pupils in Year 2 and Year 6.

  7. First published.

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