Back to blog listing

How can we make school reports fit for purpose?

With so many schools placing an emphasis on year-end reports now is the time to reflect on whether your reports are fit for purpose.
Learn strategies for making school reports that benefit teaches, students, and parents

There’s no denying the importance of school reports and timely feedback as part of the educational journey. And whilst the previous statement is broad enough to gather unanimous approval, it’s far too broad to consider the intricacies required for effective student reporting.

In short, writing reports on student performance is important, but are your school’s reports a useful exercise for teachers, students, and parents alike?


No small undertaking

School reports are one of the most divisive subjects within the staff room. Some teachers marvel in sharing the progress of their students, while others will find any distraction possible to avoid the task.

Writing school reports can be a significant undertaking, especially within larger schools. Soon enough teachers are pouring countless hours into reports, which is exactly why it’s important to make school reports fit for purpose.


Be clear on your audience

Writing reports for the sake of reporting is tedious and a sure-fire way to upset teachers. School reports need to be written with the reader in mind, meaning students and parents need to be at the forefront of a teacher’s mind throughout.

Ask yourself “Am I saying what I want or what parents need to hear?”. For school reports to be truly fit for purpose the content needs to be useful for parents and students. Similarly, the length of each report needs to be concise enough to not overly intrude on teacher time. Striking this balance is the key to greater buy-in from teachers and parents.

Technology can be your friend

Using technology can not only speed up the report writing process, but also improve how your reports are displayed. Some ideas for how to use technology to elevate your school reports, and help teachers claim more time back include:

  • Accessing recent and historical marks easily
  • Showing progress in the form of graphs/charts
  • Including examples of work
  • Making the report layout easier to write and follow


Ask your community

An under-rated tool for making your school reports fit for purpose is to gather feedback and suggestions from parents and students. On top of building stronger relationships with parents, your report structure can be built by asking questions such as:

  • What information to include
  • How best to deliver the report (printed sheets, email, parent portal, etc.)
  • Getting a balance between highlighting achievements and next steps

This point can either be first or last on your to-do list, depending on your school.

Learn more 

Managing school reports effectively can be a massive impact on a teacher’s time. You can enjoy more insights into school reporting with Firefly’s 'Making Your School Reports Count' eBook. 

You can also talk to one of our experts and learn about how Firefly supports schools all around the world. 

Sign up for our newsletter

Never miss out on top tips from leading schools and best practices to take your teaching and learning to the next level!

By completing this form you agree to the terms and conditions of our privacy policy.