Reporting to parents and carers — general information
Written reports twice a year
Schools are required to provide a written (print or digital) student report at least twice a year to the parents or carers of each child enrolled at the school.
This is a minimum requirement for school registration — schools have a legal obligation to provide a written (print or digital) student report at least twice a year to the parents/carers of each child enrolled at the school.
Reports must be accessible
Student reports are required to be in an accessible form and easy for parents or carers to understand.
Parents want to know what was learnt and how well, where improvement is needed and what should be done next. This means that reports should be written in plain English, giving parents and carers a clear picture of their child’s progress and achievement against clearly defined standards.
The Department advises:
- Comments about student achievement should complement the teacher judgements made and the corresponding five point scale used.
- Descriptions of strengths and areas for improvement should provide more information on specific areas of the student’s achievement or where they need to be further assisted or extended.
- The report can include an assessment of effort and class behaviour if the school chooses to report on this.
- The use of generic comments should be avoided.
The following tips will assist you to write clear, easy to understand and informative reports.
This checklist is designed to help teachers review the comments they have written.
Reporting against achievement standards
Schools are required to report against the Victorian Curriculum F-10 achievement standards, which includes towards foundation levels A-D.
- reporting directly against the achievement standards (not the level or band descriptions, or content descriptions)
- reporting against the achievement standards defined for each learning area and capability taught, consistent with the teaching and learning program(s) schools have designed.
Each curriculum area includes content descriptions explaining what is to be taught, what students are expected to learn, and achievement standards describing what students are able to understand and do. Achievement standards (not content descriptions) are the basis for reporting student achievement.
For students who are progressing towards achieving the Foundation level achievement standards, the Towards Foundation levels of the Victorian Curriculum (levels A to D) are used to record levels of achievement. Levels A to D are a suitable record of levels of achievement for many students, including students with additional learning needs or a disability.
Student reports to include both achievement and progress
Both achievement and progress against the achievement standards are required to be included in the student report
Achievement means locating a student on a continuum of learning for a learning area and/or capability by making an on-balance, holistic, evidence-based and defensible judgement of assessment evidence gathered during a reporting period.
Progress means representing the growth in learning that has occurred by referencing the last time such achievement standards were reported against for that student in the school.
A five point scale must be used when reporting
A five point scale is to be included in every student report to provide more detail on the student's learning and to rate the quality of the student's achievement and progress against the achievement standards.
This requirement provides an opportunity for schools to communicate quality information on the student’s learning growth — their increased skills, knowledge and understandings within the curriculum area of learning over time.
A five point scale may be a written or graphical scale that may employ letters, numbers, or worded-descriptors. If a worded descriptors are not used, the scale must be explained.
- This requirement cannot be met by using the existing levels of the curriculum.
- For English, mathematics and science, at least an age-related five point scale is required.
- For all other curriculum areas, including English as an Additional Language (EAL), another kind of five point scale may be used (for example, a scale developed around learning goals or learning dimensions).
- More than one scale may be used for the same learning area or capability.
Opportunities to discuss the school report
Opportunities must be provided for parents/carers and students to discuss the school report with teachers and/or school leaders
This means that parent/carers need to receive the report with sufficient time before a school break commences so that parents and carers can discuss their child’s report with teachers and/or school leaders.
The Department does not prescribe a reporting format
Schools can decide on the format of reports in partnership with students, parents, carers and the school community. Reports can also be customised to suit school and individual student needs. For example, schools can choose to show levels of achievement and progress as a written or graphic representation.
Schools can decide how the following elements are represented:
- student achievement against the Victorian Curriculum F-10 achievement standards
- student progress along the learning continuum
- student achievement and progress related to individual learning goals and targets.
Schools can customise other elements including:
- areas for improvement/future learning
- what the school will do to support the student’s learning
- what parents and carers can do to support the student’s progress
- work habits assessment
- extra-curricular comments
- student comment
- parent and carer comment/feedback.
Reviewed 05 September 2021