New reporting format
Policy, October 2006
That the AEU reaffirms its concern about a number of aspects of the new reporting system that schools are to be required to implement.
The AEU supports the Department's statement that "Assessment and Reporting are essential elements of the learning and teaching process and are vital to the way students think about themselves and are engaged in the process of learning...Reporting is the process by which assessment information is communicated in ways that assist students, parents, teachers and the system in making decisions by providing information about what students know and can do, along with recommendations for their future learning."
The AEU notes that the new reporting system was trialled by around 700 schools. The following issues and recommendations were informed by feedback by a number of those schools and input from others that are looking to next year.
- That the AEU support school communities that seek exemption from the reports through their school council and urge the Minister to allow the exemption.
- That the AEU also seek to have the categories of students who can be exempted broadened.
- That, in relation to A-E reporting, the AEU:
- Oppose the process that takes away a teacher's professional judgement when allocating a grade
- Continue to make a case for "equivalent" alternative wording (as allowed for in the Federal legislation) rather than A-E for Years Prep-2
- Work to have the basis for allocating grades changed to more reflect the community's understanding of their meaning and to avoid the outcome of C being the main grade allocated with very few As; and
- Argue for a change in the definition for the grades so that they reflect the skill level and capability of the student rather than them being described as a number of months ahead or behind (a difficult concept, especially in content-based subjects).
- That the AEU continue to call for further work on progression points to sort out anomalies and to ensure that they are not seen as standards to teach to.
- That the AEU pursue a disaggregation of dimensions in areas where the individual domains should be reported on, e.g. Maths.
- That the computer programs used for writing the reports:
- Be more flexible to support more personal school-based comments;
- Provide the option for removing the area where students write their comments, as this can be difficult logistically, especially in secondary schools; and
- Allow attendance and effort to be included in individual domain/subject areas.
- That the AEU continue to campaign for two extra pupil-free days for this new initiative and also for VELS implementation so that the reporting requirements do not detract from the work on VELS.
- That the AEU also pursue additional time release for the reporting coordinators and IT people during the initial setup.
- That Joint Primary and Secondary Council inform AEU sub-branches and Principal Class Association (PCA) members that if they experience workload and time pressures in the implementation of this new initiative or if schools are not ready for it they should defer using the new report format.