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School reports on pupil performance: guide for headteachers

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. 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.

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

Any other qualification, or unit towards a qualification, and the grade achieved

National curriculum assessments

Schools should report:

the outcomes of any 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

The department firmly intends that exams will go ahead in summer 2022 and does not expect that to change, except in the very unlikely case of a public health emergency which would prevent students being able to physically sit exams.

In the unlikely event that exams cannot go ahead, contingency arrangements are in place to ensure that schools and colleges are well prepared to enable students to achieve their qualifications.

The requirements on reporting exam grades to pupils and parents have not changed. Where the results of any qualification assessments 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 2021 to 2022

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 during the pandemic
the Parent Pledge, announced in the Schools White Paper, which states that any child who falls behind in English or maths should receive timely and evidence-based support to help them catch up and that schools communicate this work and the child’s progress to parents

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 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 recovery premium and the National Tutoring Programme.

Schools should spend the recovery 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. For further information on funding for the National Tutoring Programme, read our guidance on the school-led tutoring grant.

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

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