If a school has always reported to its parents and community in terms of its own school targets and if that school aligns its own targets to National Standards, may that school continue to:
- report to parents and school community in relation to its own targets, and
- use its own targets in its school charter instead of National Standard targets?
For example, when reporting to parents and school community, Kiwi Park School has always reported in relation to ‘Kiwi Park targets’, may it continue to do so and include ‘Kiwi Park targets’ in its school charter, provided that the ‘Kiwi Park targets’ are aligned to National Standards targets?
The National Administration Guidelines make it clear that, in terms of the legal requirement, a school:
...is required to use National Standards and/or Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori to: (a) report to students and their parents on the student’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards and/or Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. Reporting to parents in plain language in writing must be at least twice a year (NAG 2A).
Advice and guidance to schools in relation to reporting to parents makes it clear that the NAGs set the requirements each school must follow but that the way in which these requirements are fulfilled is for the school to decide, in consultation with its community (see Principles of effective reporting).
In light of this, teachers at Kiwi Park school could report in relation to ‘Kiwi Park targets’ when they “report to parents in plain language in writing … at least twice a year” (NAG 2A), provided that:
- ‘Kiwi Park targets’ are aligned to National Standards and/or Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori, and this alignment is made clear to, and understood by, students and their parents, family, whānau, and communities
- it is clear to each student and their parents where the student’s progress and achievement sits in relation to National Standards/Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori
- the means of reporting is consistent with the needs and expectations for reporting of the school community.
All school charters must include National Standards and/or Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori targets. Kiwi Park School will be required to explicitly state National Standards targets in its charter and later report against these targets in the context of its analysis of variance and annual reporting. However, this does not preclude Kiwi Park school including reference to ‘Kiwi Park targets’ to show how its National Standards targets link to its own targets, if it wishes.
If you have any other questions on National Standards, please email us at the Ministry of Education through: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about The National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) >>
What are boards required to report in relation to National Standards/Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori?
Boards will be required to set National Standards targets in their charters and report against these targets in annual reports (1 March for annual charter update to be provided to the Ministry).
The new National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) require schools to:
- report school-level data in the Board’s Annual Report on National Standards under three headings:
- school strengths and identified areas for improvement
- the basis for identifying areas for improvement
- planned actions for lifting achievement
- report in the Board’s Annual Report on:
- the numbers and proportions of students at, above, below or well below the standards, including by Māori, Pasifika, gender, and by year level (where this does not breach an individual's privacy)
- how students are progressing against the standards as well as how they are achieving.
Read more about The National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) >>
What reports do schools give parents?
The National Administration Guidelines (NAGs) require schools to 'report to students and their parents on the student’s progress and achievement in relation to National Standards. Reporting to parents in plain language must be at least twice a year'.
From February 2010 teachers have been required to report to parents in writing, at least twice a year, about how their child is progressing and achieving in relation to the reading, writing, and mathematics standards.
The National Administration Guidelines require twice-yearly reporting of both progress and achievement, but we would expect the focus of the mid-year report to be on progress in relation to the standards, with the end-of-year report to focus on the summary of their child's progress and achievement in relation to the standards.
How prescriptive is the report format?
Schools will not need to use any particular graph or report template for their National Standards reporting to parents. Schools can use the reporting guidelines available on TKI to develop their own or modify their existing reports to specifically include reporting against National Standards in reading, writing, and mathematics.
The Ministry recommends that all reports on reading, writing, and mathematics contain:
- the student's current learning goals
- the student's progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards/Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori
- what the school will do to support the student's learning
- what parents, families, whānau, and communities can do to support the child's learning
- results from assessments the student has undertaken.
The supplied templates are examples which can be used if desired, but schools are free to develop their own format or adapt an existing one.
See examples and templates of reports on TKI >>
Why report twice a year?
When we consulted with parents, family, whānau, and communities on National Standards, there was a strong appeal for regular reports on their children's progress and achievement. Reporting twice a year fulfills this request. Schools may wish to treat the mid-year (or through-year) report as a progress report rather than a comprehensive report.
We already report more than twice a year - should we be doing less?
Many schools report more often than twice a year. We don't want to restrict the frequency with which schools report to parents. Twice a year reporting to parents is a minimum requirement. Every school's parent and whānau community is different and has different needs. Finding out what works for your community and responding appropriately is the most important thing.
What about those students who are not meeting the standards year-on-year, yet making progress? This could be really demoralising.
It is important that students and parents have a realistic understanding of their progress and achievement and remain motivated to learn. Reporting and celebrating progress is important, as is indicating the possibilities of achieving higher levels in the future and what is needed to achieve them.
The undesirable labeling of students is not an issue introduced by the standards. Teachers are professionals and as such know the importance of using appropriate language that motivates students.
Schools have flexibility in the way they can report student progress and achievement in reporting to address concerns that were raised by parents during consultation about labeling students.
Do schools have to report on other subjects as well?
Yes. Schools must report to students and their parents on individual student's achievement and progress for the whole curriculum.
Do I have to compare students to their class/school/other schools?
No. The only requirement is to assess their progress and achievement against the National Standards.
Will we have to spend more time teaching and assessing reading, writing, and mathematics? What will happen to the rest of the curriculum?
Reading, writing, and mathematics should not be taught in isolation. Teachers need to give students rich and diverse curriculum contexts to apply and fully develop their literacy and numeracy skills and understandings.
Students need appropriate achievement levels in reading, writing, and mathematics to be able to access the broad curriculum outcomes, including those of the values, key competencies, and the learning areas.
How will we help people who don't read, write, or understand written reporting?
You are required to send a written report to each student's parents, but if they struggle to read it, you will probably want to arrange to talk to them about it.
How are we going to show progress against the standards, given we only have a four-point scale to work with?
The four-point scale has been designed to show reliable differentiation in teachers’ judgments in relation to the standards, in school level data.
However, schools are not required to use the four-point scale in reports to parents. Progress against individual student’s learning goals in relation to the standards can be shown in a variety of ways, for example, teachers may use samples of student’s work and many assessment tools have more finely differentiated scales which can be used to show more detailed progress in specific areas.
See some examples and templates of reports on TKI assessment website >>
How do we allow the time for Year 6/Year 8 students who are leaving, to use the information from their end of year reports and how do we provide it to their next school?
Ongoing parent, family, whānau, community, and student involvement, along with a mid/through-year report, will ensure a process of continual learning and ‘no surprises’ in the end of year report. Schools should also provide the student’s next school with the most relevant reporting information, including the next steps the students are working towards.
Do schools have to use a graph or other visual showing progress and achievement against expected standards or will a plain language comment be enough?
Schools can choose whether or not to include graphs in their reports, as long as the report clearly shows progress and achievement against National Standards.
Some of the sample templates available include graphical as well as written presentation of information.
See some examples and templates of reports on TKI assessment website >>
What terms should teachers use in reports to parents to describe progress and achievement in relation to the standards?
Schools are expected to consult with their parents, whānau, and communities to determine how they would most like to receive information in relation to National Standards/Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori. There are a number of approaches that may be taken, but the student’s progress and achievement in relation to the expected standard needs to be clear.
Terms currently being used to describe progress and achievement in reports on individual students include:
- using the four-point scale (above, at, below, well-below the expected standard)
- adapting terms used in relation to previous benchmarks (such as working towards, working at, working above or approaching, meeting, exceeding the expected standard)
- identifying the standard which best describes the student's achievement (for example, the expected standards is Year 5, your child is working at the level of the Year 6 standard)
- identifying particular areas of strength or need for improvement in addition to overall level of progress and achievement.
These approaches address concerns that were raised by parents during consultation about labelling students or losing reporting practices they were already satisfied with. They also allow schools the flexibility to report in ways that meet the needs of their particular communities.
Most of our parents are Pasifika and have English as a second language. Should we report to them in their first languages?
Reporting in plain language is part of the requirement. Schools are expected to consult with their parents, whānau, and communities to determine how they would most like to receive information in relation to National Standards. This may include reporting in a parent, family, whānau, or community member’s first language, if this was helpful, possible, and what the community wanted. The most important thing is that schools work with their communities to develop ways to communicate with parents, family, whānau, and communities who know little English. For example, this could be done through face-to-face meetings where a support person can help interpret the discussion.
Which standard should student’s progress and achievement be reported against when two standards could apply e.g. a student is in Year 4 and has had their 36 months anniversary of time at school?
The National Standards are signposts of expected progress and achievement that apply after a student has been at school for one, two, or three years. From year 4, the standards apply to the year level (year 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). There may be some overlaps for example a child may have been at school for three years, but be in a year 4 class.
When reporting to parents, teachers should decide which standard is most suitable to report in relation to that student’s performance. The teacher may decide it is suitable to report in relation to both standards. There is flexibility when reporting to parents, as long as a student’s progress and achievement in relation to the relevant standard, or standards, is clear.
For the purpose of reporting school level data to their Boards, using the four point scale of above, at, below, and well below the standard the school can choose whether to report against only one relevant standard, or both. Whatever the school decides it is important that there is a consistent policy within the school so that data is consistent between students, and year on year. Schools may wish to annotate their report to their board indicating how they handled students in the situation described above.
Read further guidance about this in a paper entitled Variation in school entry dates - Implications for timing of overall teacher judgments (OTJs) and reporting. >>
Return to top