Education Scotland guidance on pupil reports: FOI release

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

FOI reference: FOI/18/03072  
Date received: 23 October 2018 
Date responded: 31 October 2018
Information requested
1. Please send me a copy of any guidance Education Scotland has issued to local authorities about the reports teachers should write for each pupil, including guidance on the length of each report. 
2. Please provide information on the knowledge Education Scotland has of local authorities’ policies on report length.
In response to your request, please note the following:

1. The following links to Education Scotland’s National Improvement Hub provide the information you requested. Reporting to Parents and Carers - Guidance for Schools and ELC settings (updated February 2018).–%20Guidance%20for%20schools%20and%20ELC%20settings

Annual reporting - advice and support for schools, working with parents and other
partners (updated April 2018).
2. In September 2016, HM Inspectors reported on their review of local authorities’ actions to tackle unnecessary bureaucracy and undue workload in schools. The report can be found at this link to Education Scotland’s National Improvement Hub.

The following extracts from page 5 of the report provides the information you requested above.

Inspectors noted that reporting to parents has been a specific cause of workload in schools. This issue was mentioned frequently in discussions with representatives of teachers’ professional associations and LNCTs (Local Negotiating Committees for Teachers) about working time agreements. To address this issue, around a third of local authorities have introduced new, less bureaucratic approaches to reporting to parents. Their aim is to reduce unnecessary workload, while still ensuring parents get the information they need.

Emerging best practice involves: 
  • more frequent, shorter reports to parents, rather than one big end-of-session report;
  • more oral reporting to parents at meetings;
  • involvement of children and young people in the reporting process; and
  • increased use of e-communication and social media.
About FOI

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Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit 
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government 
St Andrew's House 
Regent Road 

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