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Education Minister launches consultation on annual reports to parents

17 December, 2008 - by Caitríona Ruane

Education Minister Caitríona Ruane has launched for consultation draft regulations which will improve the information schools provide to parents on their progress of their children.

The Minister launched the consultation at St Colm's High School, Twinbrook, where she was presenting awards to pupils during the annual Celebration of Achievement. The Minister said: "This Celebration of Achievement recognises the hard work of students, teachers and parents. Young people can rightly be proud of their efforts over the past year in academic, sporting and many other areas. The Principal and staff at St Colm's High School are to be congratulated for their part in these successes.

"Events such as this also serve to let parents know how their children are doing at school. That is why I am launching a consultation on new annual reporting arrangements. These arrangements will ensure parents have a formal record of their child's academic achievements as well as highlighting their other skills, talents and educational progress.

"It is important that schools are able to show parents the range and level of skills and abilities our children and young people demonstrate in school. The Revised Curriculum has given teachers the flexibility to tailor lessons to the needs of their pupils and these new reporting arrangements will complement and support that work.

"The new arrangements will set out the minimum areas schools should include in annual reports to parents and will be phased in from the end of the current school year.

"I have been very clear that the purpose of the new annual reporting arrangements is to ensure parents are aware of their child's progress at school. The term "pupil profile" has caused confusion in the past and has been wrongly linked to transfer. That is why we are reverting to the terminology that parents themselves use and referring to the "annual report to parents."

The new arrangements will be phased in from the final term of the 2008/09 school year. In 2008/09 they would apply to years 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, and 9. From 2009/10 they would apply to all years of primary and post-primary education.

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