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) pandemic.

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. The report for school leavers must be sent no later than 30 September following the end of the academic 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 2020 to 2021 academic year.

InformationAll yearsYears 1 to 6 (key stage 1 and key stage 2)Years 10 and 11 (key stage 4)
General progressxxx
Brief particulars of achievements, highlighting strengths and developmental needsxxx
How to arrange a discussion about the report with a teacher at the schoolxxx
Attendance record (see attendance record changes)xxx
The results of any national curriculum assessments taken by the pupil (see national curriculum assessments changes) x 
The grade achieved in subjects for which the pupil was entered for GCSE (see changes for grades achieved in GCSEs or other qualifications)  x
Any other qualification, or unit towards a qualification, and the grade achieved (see changes for grades achieved in GCSEs or other qualifications)  x

Attendance record

The Department for Education (DfE) has 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, schools do not have 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.

National curriculum assessments

Following the cancellation of the summer 2021 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 came into force on 20 April 2021.

Grades achieved in GCSEs or other qualifications

On 4 January 2021, the Prime Minister announced, in the context of new national restrictions, that exams in summer 2021 could not go ahead as planned. Ofqual and DfE consulted jointly on alternative arrangements to award grades. You can find the outcomes of the consultation in the GCSE, AS and A level qualifications in 2021 collection.

The requirements on reporting exam grades to pupils and parents have not changed and apply equally to the teacher assessed grades to be awarded in 2021. Where the results of any qualification assessments including teacher assessment 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 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 shared this information with pupils and parents, we strongly recommend that reports include an indication of any significant learning that pupils have missed or are not secure in due to the period of restrictions to school attendance. This could also helpfully include a brief explanation of how the school is addressing this learning loss and any specific additional support that parents could provide.

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.

Published 25 March 2014
Last updated 10 June 2021 + show all updates
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

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

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

  5. First published.

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