Guidance

School reports on pupil performance: guide for headteachers

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 this year’s summer exam series and primary assessments, and partial school closures, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. The guidance confirms that regulations have been laid to remove the requirement to report on national curriculum assessments and attendance. It also explains the different requirements of school leaver reports.

Headteachers must send a written report to parents on their child’s progress for the academic year by the end of each summer term, unless that pupil is to be provided with a school leaver’s report (see below). The report for school leavers must be sent no later than 30 September following the end of the school year in which the pupil left. Where results of public exams, vocational qualifications or credits are not received until after the end of the summer term, headteachers are required to provide that information to parents as soon as possible, and by 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

Important changes are being made to the information that must be provided in annual reports for the 2019/20 academic year. This is indicated in the table and further detail is provided below.

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 (see changes below) x x x
The results of any national curriculum assessments taken by the pupil (see changes below)   x  
The grade achieved in subjects for which the pupil was entered for GCSE (see changes below)     x
Any other qualification, or unit towards a qualification, and the grade achieved (see changes below)     x

Attendance record

The Department for Education (DfE) has laid regulations to remove the requirement to report pupils’ attendance data for the 2019/20 academic year, in recognition of the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on the possible attendance. These regulations will come into force on 9 July 2020.

National curriculum assessments

Following the cancellation of the 2019/20 national curriculum assessments, DfE has 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 will come into force on 9 July 2020.

Grades achieved in GCSEs or other qualifications

The government took the difficult decision to cancel all exams due to take place in England in summer 2020 as part of the fight to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). We will ensure that GCSE and A level students are awarded a calculated grade which reflects their work. The grade will be based on the best available evidence, including any non-exam assessment that students have already undertaken. Ofqual has recently published further guidance to help teachers, students and parents.

The requirements on reporting exam grades to pupils and parents have not changed and apply equally to the calculated grades being produced in 2020. Where the results of exams, or calculated grades, are received after the end of the summer term, they should be reported to parents and adult pupils within 15 school days of the school receiving them. These requirements do not apply to pupils receiving a school leaver’s report.

Providing reports in 2019/20

Schools should take a proportionate approach in deciding what information to include within their pupils’ reports. It is likely that, in many cases, it will not be possible for reports to cover the period of partial school closures. This does not, however, prevent schools from choosing to provide additional information where, for example, children continued to attend school or schools reviewed work completed at home.

As in previous years, schools should decide the appropriate level of detail required within reports recognising that pupils may not have completed their full year’s education. This decision needs to take account of the availability of staff to write and prepare reports, as well as the information that they can reasonably access. Where the staff who would normally prepare or contribute to a pupil’s report are not available, schools should consider what information can reasonably be provided in their absence. Schools should also consider the most appropriate method by which to share reports with parents, which may be electronically.

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 coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and the availability of staff. It may be appropriate to delay these discussions and commit to providing details of how parents can discuss the report at a future date, or offering other options, such as telephone discussions.

More details on school reports and pupil records are contained in The Education (Pupil Information) (England) Regulations 2005 and Amendments.

Published 25 March 2014
Last updated 18 June 2020 + show all updates
  1. 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.

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

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

  4. First published.