A headteacher’s report is primarily focused on providing performance information so school governors can make informed decisions about future strategic planning, while holding leaders to account.
The governing body, as a school’s fiercest and most critical friend, provides invaluable insight and perspective. The report should be written in an interpretable way that allows governors to digest the information and ask questions. In many cases, headteachers provide commentary within the report itself that helps governors log their questions and share them in advance of a meeting.
Whilst each school, or MAT, may have an individual template, there are similarities between all headteacher report formats. These are often aligned to the areas within Ofsted’s current Education Inspection Framework and many school leaders don’t realise that SIMS can help!
Numbers on roll
It is critically important to ensure consistency when it comes to ‘numbers on roll’ as the report will detail the stability of the school’s student population. This has a direct correlation with funding and is, therefore, essential to get right.
SIMS includes standard reporting functions that provide easy access to this information. This functionality allows governors and school leaders to monitor significant changes that can help support longer-term financial management. In addition, it’s worth noting that SIMS Discover offers the option to view pupil mobility in a graphical format. Governors, who are not from an educational background, have been known to appreciate this type of visualisation.
It’s no exaggeration to suggest that attendance is pivotal to the well-being of a school community and overall success of the school itself. As a result, school leaders have many systems and processes in place for monitoring and evaluating attendance.
When reporting to governors, it is important to present a clear picture of current attendance alongside any analysis, broken down for different groups within the school.
While SIMS offers attendance analysis through its standard reporting functions, school leaders may prefer more granularity that can be accessed through SIMS Safety Reports. This allows analysis across various groups for specified date ranges, which makes it easier to spot trends by year, year group or even term.
Graphical attendance illustration is also available through SIMS Discover, which offers easy visual analysis.
Headteacher reports typically have a focus on persistent absenteeism. Using SIMS to report attendance information helps to accurately pinpoint areas of immediate concern and highlight where improvements are required.
Finally, staff absence can have knock-on effects across a school. Attendance analysis helps headteachers manage this issue sensitively, in the interests of both the individual’s well-being and that of the pupils. The information also informs strategies that are agreed with the governing board.
Both SIMS standard reporting functions and the Safety Reports allow the rapid extraction of this data, which allows more time to focus on strategy and less on cumbersome data calculations.
Unsurprisingly, incidents that are homophobic or racially motivated in nature need to be reported to the governing board alongside other types of bullying. This analysis may include an overview of suspensions and/or permanent exclusions.
This safeguarding information is another set of data that can be easily extracted using SIMS standard reporting and Safety Reports. This reporting allows governors to measure progress and interrogate the success of previous safeguarding strategies, while considering whether a fresh approach is required. In addition, SIMS Discover can display this data in a more visually appealing way for governors.
It’s worth noting that the SIMS homepage can be personalised to highlight specific pupil behaviours and can be adapted for staff with different roles within the school.
Governors also have a responsibility to approve out-of-school visits. This process involves headteachers sharing planned visits with the governing board in advance.
It can be difficult to keep track of a full out-of-school visit diary, particularly across year groups. However, the SIMS calendar function allows simple data collation for the forthcoming term.
The headteachers report is essential and allows governors to understand key issues within a school. SIMS can support headteachers manage the workload ahead of this termly requirement and help put data at the heart of school strategies.
If you are interested in how our solutions can further support you or your governing body then please contact us here.
*Safety Reports can be found on the customer success resource hub together with a variety of other resources designed to help schools with their SIMS data.