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 of Education (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 of Education Executive and the Minister for Education and Training 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. ​(DoE Assessment Strategy 2020-2023)​
  • Reporting:​ The process of communicating the assessment of student learning and wellbeing.​
  • Continuous reporting: The practice of reporting in regular instalments…teachers provide updated assessment information…through the year, which is then made visible to students and parents and carers in an ongoing way. (Hollingsworth, Heard and Weldon, 2019)
  • Achievement:​ The assessment of proficiency against a continuum of learning or recognised standard at a given point in time.    ​
  • Progress:​ The gain, growth or increasing proficiency along a continuum of learning​ (or learning progressions), as measured over time. ​(Masters, G., 2017)​
  • Families: The term ‘family’ is used in the broadest sense. It includes people who are related through kindred or marriage or de factor partnerships, as well as adoption and fostering relationships, siblings and extended family. In this way it includes all primary and other caregivers involved in the lives of learners. (Respectful Schools Respectful Behaviour: Building Inclusive Practice in schools)

Further information

Contact Ms Andrea Robertson – Principal Policy Analyst


Phone: (03) 6165 5778

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