The Education (General Provisions) Act 2006, s423 (1) provides that the Minister may approve a policy about the publication by a state school's principal or non-state school's governing body, of an annual report containing;
information relating to the school and its policies; and
State school principals and non-state schools' governing bodies must comply with the approved policy.
The policy, which is presented as a checklist of all Queensland and Australian Government requirements, has been approved by the Minister and sets out the minimum annual reporting requirements for all state and non-state schools. For state schools, mandated reporting requirements for publication, additional to those detailed in the checklist, are specified in the state school reporting template. By publishing this information in the School Annual Report, Queensland schools will meet the reporting obligations required by both the Queensland and the Australian Governments (National Education Agreement (E4), and the Schools Assistance Regulations 2009 (6.1)).
The Annual Reporting Policy for all Queensland Schools articulates the mandatory information to be published in the School Annual Report by 30 June each year.
The State School Reporting Template 648K satisfies all reporting requirements for Queensland State Schools.
The following guidelines have been developed to assist schools to meet the requirements of the Annual Reporting Policy for all Queensland Schools and to assist principals and school governing bodies when reporting student achievement and school performance data.
To maintain consistency of reporting across State, Independent and Catholic schools, definitions have been agreed by the heads of the three schooling sectors (State, Independent and Catholic) in relation to measures of student attendance, apparent retention, qualifications and professional development of teachers, staff attendance and teacher retention.
The School Annual Report information for the previous program year is to be made publicly available on the internet, and schools are to make arrangements to provide the information, on request, to a parent, carer or a person who is responsible for a student at the school and is unable to access the internet. The School Annual Report is to be published by 30 June of each year. Following the release of the Next Step report, post-school destinations information for Year 12 completers is to be published by 30 September of each year.
Schools may use their own format to publish this information and state schools are required to publish all the information contained in the State School Reporting Template. For state schools, school principals will be emailed this template pre-populated with all the quantitative data requirements. Furthermore, the Policy represents the minimum information schools are required to publish and schools may add any additional material. In reporting information, principals should be aware of privacy and data interpretation issues. These are addressed in Section 2 below.
Schools are encouraged to provide a broad range of information to parents and the community that contributes to a greater understanding of the context in which the school operates. Any education sector specific terminology should be fully explained and the use of jargon is not recommended.
The school context describes the environment in which the school operates, or is likely to operate in the foreseeable future. It is important that all published data can be interpreted by an audience that has been provided with a working knowledge of the school context.
As part of the new Commonwealth reporting requirements schools are to report on the characteristic of the student body. Schools may consider outlining the demographic/socio-economic characteristics of the student body. This could include ethnicity, cultural background, religious backgrounds, rural/urban, indigenous/non-indigenous, family occupation/background/composition, percentage of ESL, etc.
In addition to the contextual information outlined in the Policy, schools may also consider including information about the following:
Schools are encouraged to use existing data from the most recent school opinion surveys on staff, parent and student satisfaction with the school when reporting on this aspect of the report.
For state schools, broadly reporting in plain language on the overall measures and the specific dimensions of the staff, parent and student surveys for the program year must be considered. Also, state schools can comment on the result for the key measures of the School Planning, Reviewing and Reporting framework, namely:
This section describes information about the qualifications, workforce composition and professional development of teachers employed at the school. Important information about staff attendance and retention is also included.
State schools will report on the composition of the workforce as teaching and non-teaching staff using headcount and full-time equivalent derived from the Minimum Obligatory Human Resource Information (MOHRI). This will ensure consistency with the information provided to the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority. The information for state schools, provided by the Human Resources Branch of Department of Education, Training and Employment, will be average MOHRI counts for the previous year of teaching and non teaching staff, with headcount and FTE of staff who have identified as Indigenous.
For those schools whose Indigenous staff numbers are either zero or very small in number (e.g. fewer than 5 FTE), it is recommended that the statement "a small number of staff have identified as Indigenous" or zero is used. Under these circumstances, "<5" is displayed on the pre-populated template.
Schools will report on the qualifications of classroom teachers and school leaders employed at the school, based on those staff employed at the end of Term 4 each year. Staff qualifications should be recorded at the highest level of attainment, and reported as the percentage of the school workforce in each of the following categories:
**Graduate Diploma etc. includes Graduate, Bachelor Honours Degree, and Graduate Certificate
Additional reporting (e.g. names and qualifications of individual teachers or staff) is at the school's discretion.
In this section schools should report on three elements:
(i) The total funds expended on teacher professional development. To prevent duplication of reporting for schools, this figure should be based on items directly associated with enabling participation in professional development
(ii) The major professional development initiatives should be described. Details regarding in-kind professional development activities undertaken (e.g. mentoring or peer learning circles) can also be included.
(iii) For state schools the School Planning, Reviewing and reporting Framework performance measures - the percentage (or proportion) of the teaching staff involved in professional development activities, should also be reported in this section of the report.
This percentage will not include unplanned sick leave or emergency leave of more than five days, work-cover related absence, long service leave or planned family leave. The calculations will only include details for permanent and temporary classroom teachers and school leaders.
This figure will report the proportion or percentage of staff that was retained by the school for the entire year e.g. 2011 from the end of the previous school year (e.g. 2010). For state schools, the retention rate is calculated as a percentage by dividing the total number of teachers retained (FTE) by the total establishment (FTE) for the school.
Retained staff will include those staff members who have taken sabbatical leave, leave without pay, long service leave and those who have not substantively separated from the school. Those who have resigned, retired or transferred to another location during the school year (including transfers at level or through promotion) are not included in the group reported as retained teaching staff.
It is important that schools report their outcomes in relation to the Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 NAPLAN test results, Year 12 outcomes information, and retention rates. However, it is equally important that schools provide contextual information in relation to these results. There may be many factors affecting these outcomes and schools should take this opportunity to provide a concise comment of individual school interests and strengths.
Average student attendance rates to be calculated by identifying the number of full school days attended by all enrolled students divided by the number of school days able to be attended by all enrolled students. Results will be reported as a percentage. The period should be Semester 1 (if calculated by the schooling system) or the last 20 days of May each year (if calculated by an individual school).
In this section describe the procedures the school takes when the attendance requirements of the compulsory schooling or compulsory participation phase are not met by a student, for part of a day or for longer periods. Include a description of how your school implements roll marking processes, including when rolls are marked and how your school follows-up absences with parents.
In addition, schools may choose to report proactive strategies being used to increase attendance.
School NAPLAN measures to be reported include the areas of reading, writing, spelling, grammar and punctuation, and numeracy tests for Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.
The ten outcomes listed in the policy are to be reported.
In addition, state schools are required to report the proportion of students in the Overall Position bands 1-5, 6-10, 11-15, 16-20, and 21-25. Also, state schools will report the number of students receiving a Certificate I, Certificate II and Certificate III or above and provide a description of the types of Certificate I courses the students undertook.
Apparent retention rates from Year 10 to Year 12 are to be reported.
One of the nationally accepted measures of the completion of Year 12 is the Year 10 to Year 12 apparent retention rate.
The Year 10 to Year 12 apparent retention rate is defined as the number of full-time students in Year 12 in any given year expressed as the percentage of those students who were at the same secondary school three years previously. This is the information specifically provided by the Department of Education, Training and Employment.
For schools that had graduating Year 12 students in the previous year, information of the post-school destinations of school leavers is required. This data will be based on the post-school destination information from the current Next Step survey. The published report will include; background information on how the Next Step survey was conducted, the school response rate to the survey, definitions of main destinations, a summary of findings in relation to main destinations of students and a chart showing main destinations of students. Schools are provided with a Next Step Summary report which contains this information.
The following information is provided to assist schools to manage privacy considerations for the publication of student achievement and school performance data.
The fundamental principle for reporting performance information is to support school improvement throughout Queensland and to provide a profile of all schools to the community. While the reporting initiative is a valuable move towards sharing education information, it brings with it responsibilities in the areas of personal information and privacy. The reporting of student achievement information needs to be managed according to appropriate privacy provisions and needs to ensure that publicly available information is accurate and easily interpreted.
There are many Queensland schools that have small enrolment numbers, particularly at individual year levels. For this reason, care needs to be taken not to identify individual students. Care also needs to be taken in the interpretation of information where trends may be volatile. When reporting on small numbers or 'cohorts' of students, an annual variation in enrolment of just one or two students can have a significant effect on data from one year to the next. This is where setting information in context is of prime importance (see also Section 1 of these guidelines).
It is possible to identify individual students both directly and indirectly. Direct disclosure occurs when information about an individual is simply published outright. Indirect disclosure results when individual information can be deduced from small subsets of data either published or not published. This can occur where data are reported for all students in a group, as well as for a large subset of this group leaving only a small subset not reported.
When publishing information on student achievement and school performance:
All published information must:
School principals may decide that it is not possible to report certain data publicly in ways that maintain student privacy or minimise misinterpretation of performance. Where a decision is made not to report specific data for these reasons, a narrative or descriptive comment on student achievement or school performance would meet the requirements of the Annual Reporting Policy checklist.