Parents of students in Independent schools see themselves as partners in their children’s education. They are motivated to work collaboratively with the school in achieving the best possible outcomes for their children.
Successful partnerships rely on shared key understandings:
- alignment of values
- common language and meaning
- open-door policies
- sense of mutual obligation and responsibility
- open and transparent accountability.
Nowhere is the quality of the partnership more telling than in the success of the communication between the school and the home about the development of the child. Independent schools are justifiably proud of their work in the area of reporting.
Collaborative forums with parents create a common understanding of what is required by parents, students and schools. Reporting about a child’s progress is much more than the formal written report produced at least twice a year, and is only one aspect of the partnership between school and home.
Australian Government Requirements
The Australian Education Regulation 2013 specifies that all schools provide student reports which must:
- Be given at least twice per year to the person responsible for each child
- Be easy to understand
- Include an accurate and objective assessment of the student’s progress and achievement
- Be confidential
- Report the student’s progress and achievement against any national standards (such as those of the Australian Curriculum)
- Report the student’s progress and achievement relative to the performance of the student’s peer group (comparative reporting)*
- Be followed by an opportunity for the child and the parents to meet with the child’s teachers to discuss all aspects of the report
- Use a five-point scale such as A, B, C, D, E (or an equivalent scale) for all subjects studied, where each point is clearly defined against specific standards
*Note – Individual parents may elect not to receive this type of reporting for their child via a written request to the school. Authorities must retain a copy of all such written requests on file. The intention of comparative performance reporting is to provide parents with an indication of the achievement of their child relative to other students in the cohort. There is no requirement to provide the comparison in a particular way.