The Ministry has sent out a reminder for schools to submit by 1st March their annual charter update (incorporating annual plan and targets for 2013). They note also that the National Standards student progress and achievement information from 2012 is also required to be submitted at the same time.
This latter item may not be apparent to many boards. Most primary and intermediate schools understand the requirement to submit their targets based on National Standards, however not so many realise that they are also required to submit their analysis of variance from 2012 at the same time.
Further, for secondary schools they are also required to submit their analysis of variance from the previous year by 1st March starting from March 2014.
National Standards information is required to be submitted in the prescribed format. You can access the reporting templates and guidelines here from the Ministry website.
So what’s different? Well there is nothing different about the need to report against National Standards; nor is there anything remarkable about having to use the template which was introduced last year. What is really different is the requirement to include your report against last year with your targets for this year – all by 1st March and quite separately from its required inclusion in the Annual Report to be submitted to the auditors by 31st March.
Boards may not appreciate the subtlety of this change and principals may not like it. However, it makes sense. How else is anyone reading the school’s annual planning and reporting able to link the two together to get an understanding of where the board is taking student achievement?
Some secondary schools may claim that they have difficulties with completing this should there be delays in NCEA results, however this needs to be looked at from a wider perspective – NCEA exam results are only a part of NCEA reporting.
What will be interesting now is to see how this reporting change may affect the board’s formal annual report – the one containing the annual financial statements and due into the Ministry by 31st May. Watch this space.