School reporting

Effective reporting practice is sensitive to the self-esteem and general wellbeing of students while providing honest and constructive feedback. Schools have responsibility for ensuring that all students, including students with special educational needs, can make progress with their learning and that progress is reported appropriately. In the main, this is achieved through differentiated learning and teaching approaches and, in the case of reporting, should feature progress made towards learning targets that have been identified and planned for by students, their parents, teachers and other professionals in the area of special needs involved. Schools should consider how they identify the progress of all students, including those who have special educational needs and are achieving at their own level of ability. In reporting the progress and achievement of students with special educational needs, particular care should be given to the impact that reporting progress using a set of descriptors will have on their self-esteem and motivation. For these students, schools may wish to adapt their reporting formats so that the emphasis is only on the qualitative comments about the progress made. As with all students, the reporting process should provide a focus on ‘next steps’ for learning with an opportunity, where appropriate, for the student and the parent to comment on the progress that has been made.