Review into Reporting to Families: FAQs

Why is there a Review into Reporting to Families (the Review)?

School reports communicate to families their child’s learning progress and achievement.

The current arrangements for reporting to families have been in place since 2007. The Review will consider if these arrangements still meet learner and family needs.

  • The development of the Department for Education, Children and Young People (DoE) Assessment Strategy 2020-2023. One of the key actions being to undertake a Review into Reporting to Families.
  • DoE and the Australian Education Union committing to the Review as part of the current teachers’ award agreement.

In addition, innovations in technology are providing new possibilities for schools. This is transforming the ways families can engage in and support their child’s learning and wellbeing.

How long will the Review take?

The review period will be from July 2020 to March 2021.

What will be the Review output?

A Review Report will be submitted to the Department for Education, Children and Young People Executive and the Minister for Education by April 2021. The Report will include recommendations on:

  • Procedures for reporting student achievements and progress that are timely, efficient and manageable
  • Measures of progress and achievement to be included in reports
  • Frequency of formal reports to families
  • Format of formal reports to families
  • Relationship between formal reports and other ways of communicating and engaging with families

What is the aim of the Review?

To achieve these outputs the Review will:

  • Examine the purpose of reporting and whether current practice meets that purpose.
  • Explore how meaningful information about learning progress and achievement can best be provided. This will include investigating the effectiveness of A-E ratings against national standards.
  • Explore how learning progress and achievement can best be provided in a timely way. Including investigation of the usefulness of twice-yearly reporting to families for this purpose.
  • Make recommendations that ensure clarity and consistency of approach across schools. At the same time enabling flexibility to suit local school contexts.
  • Make recommendations that reduce the reporting workload. This is to maximise teacher time for quality teaching and in-class assessment practices.

Will the review involve consultation with key stakeholders?

The Review is committed to regular communication and consultation with key stakeholders. Consultation will give stakeholders the opportunity to share their voice and provide feedback. Consultation will occur with students, families, teachers and school leaders. It will begin in September and conclude in December 2020.

Are there any relevant Government legislation or rules that the Review must take into consideration?

The Australian Education Regulation 2013 and the Australian Education Act 2013 determine the minimum requirements that schools meet. This includes twice-yearly reporting against a five-point scale. These reporting requirements are tied to funding from the Australian Government.


  • Assessment The intentional process of eliciting evidence of learning at a point in time (Learners First: DoE Assessment Strategy 2020-2023).
  • Evidences of Learning Evidences of learning are the artefacts that students produce that demonstrate their learning. They may include evidences elicited by teacher designed assessment tasks or may be student generated. Evidences of learning can also include teacher observations of actions.
  • Families The term ‘family’ is used in the broadest sense. It includes all primary and other caregivers involved in the lives of learners and includes the student (Respectful Schools Respectful Behaviour: Building Inclusive Practice in Schools).
  • KDC Kindergarten Development Check – undertaken twice-yearly.
  • K-10 From Kindergarten to Year 10.
  • Learn­ing Achievement The level of proficiency against a continuum of learning or recognised standard at a given point in time.
  • Learning Progress The gain, growth or increasing proficiency along a continuum of learning (or learning progressions), as measured over time (Masters, G., 2017).
  • Reporting The process of communicating evidence of student learning progress, achievement and wellbeing.
  • Student Agency The level of autonomy and power that a student experiences in the learning environment, relating to having an active role in their learning through voice, and often a choice, in the process (Barker and Harris, 2020).
  • Summative Report A summative report demonstrates learning achievement at a point in time against:
    • the achievement standards of the Australian Curriculum
    • identified learning goals from individual learning plans
    • other nationally recognised standards including competency-based standards for VET.


Further information

Contact Ms Andrea Robertson – Principal Policy Analyst


Phone: (03) 6165 5778

You can also download Review FAQs (PDF, 430K).