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.
Information relating to various measures reported in the template is available on the
Queensland Government data website and on the
General information about and instructions for completing individual elements of the template are provided in red text throughout the
template (DOC, 439KB).
Providing information about the context of the school
Schools are encouraged to provide a broad range of information to parents and the school 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 information describes the environment in which the school operates, or is likely to operate in the foreseeable future. It is also 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 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, etc. Some elements of the template contain prepopulated contextual information while others are open for schools to provide additional, written contextual information, e.g. 'social climate'.
Privacy issues to consider when publishing school/student information
The following information is provided to assist schools to manage privacy considerations for the publication of student achievement and school performance data.
Privacy and interpretation of 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. However, 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.
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, careful consideration should be given to the nature of reporting where there are fewer than five students in a group, cohort or reporting field or where all persons in a particular group have achieved identical results
All published information must maintain the privacy of individual student information and minimise the likelihood of false assumptions and conclusions being inferred from the data.
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. To maintain the privacy of individual students when entering data to each school's pre-populated templates, data is withheld where appropriate and a notation made below the dataset (DW = Data withheld to ensure confidentiality).
Refer to the
instructions for details on what information should be provided.