Reporting is a never-ending task for schools – whether it’s for compliance purposes, to update parents or provide end-of-semester student progress updates, there’s a continuous stream of reports to be created.

So why is it still so hard to create timely, accurate, and insightful reports – reports that provide information to help school teachers and leaders make informed decisions?

There’s certainly no lack of information to work with. In recent years, the amount of information available on students, learning and schools has exploded.

It comes down to the tools. 

Without the right system, reporting is not only a laborious and frustrating task; it can be a real-time sink. What should be a simple task turns into a full-time job of extracting the data from various systems and then presenting it in a way that others can understand and use to take action. 

Let’s dive into the key challenges in reporting, and what you can do to solve the problems. 

Reporting Challenge 1:

Wrestling records from multiple systems

In our survey of more than 1,000 Australian education professionals, 70% identified maintaining accurate student records during the whole student lifecycle as a key challenge.

It’s no wonder when we see that schools with around 1200 students can have 14 or more different software systems running.

That’s 14 systems your staff use to find the information needed on any given day. And the average number of systems a school uses increases proportionately as its student numbers increase.

That’s where the problems start. Spending hours or days hunting down data, then confirming its accuracy and consistency drains staff productivity.

The more steps it takes to gather information, the more inefficient, error-prone, and time-consuming your reporting process will be. This also means there can be a lower level of trust in the information. How can you know it’s the latest and most accurate information on students?

With many schools saying they are aggregating data from disparate systems, this is a struggle that’s all too relatable for too many school admin staff.


Use one tech solution partner

Instead of having multiple disparate systems that do not integrate or talk to each other, one solution partner can help manage school records and systems as a single source of truth.

For example, when a school uses the SEQTA Learning Management System and Synergetic, a school MIS system, the two seamlessly connect. While SEQTA provides integrated wellbeing, learning and attendance management, Synergetic offers a whole-school solution for administration, fundraising, finance and student management.

Together, schools have a single source of truth for their essential student and community information. Data is easy to capture and access, which saves time for administrators, teachers and leaders.

Not only does a single source of truth vastly reduce the amount of time it takes to gather information, it greatly reduces the number of errors. With a single source of truth, schools can refocus the conversation around insights and action instead of debating accountability and accuracy.

Reporting Challenge 2:

Massive aggregation effort required for compliance reporting

School leaders are facing increasing complexities in managing compliance for their schools – and reporting is at the top of the list.

With countless legal obligations to comply with, government boxes to tick and ongoing changes to keep up with, compliance reporting needs to be seamless.

Yet multiple systems make reporting far more complex than it should be. School administrators can spend hours or even days hunting down data across systems and confirming accuracy.


Choose systems with powerful compliance reporting engines

To keep pace with the continuous compliance demands, you need systems with powerful reporting engines that can streamline the process.

With the new Zunia student information platform, compliance reporting is made quick and easy.

Whether it’s NAPLAN, a board report, attendance statistics or student residential reports, Zunia has pre-built reports that mean you can address standard compliance requirements in minutes, not days.

Not every school has the same compliance obligations, which is why the expert team at Education Horizons can also work with schools to build customised compliance reports and dashboards.

Reporting Challenge 3:

Finding time for teachers to complete academic reporting

The top challenge for 52% of teachers in 2021 was the lack of time for non-classroom work, according to our survey. The reality is teachers are burdened with many administrative tasks and paperwork, which takes time away from preparing and delivering high-quality teaching.

One of these burdens is academic reports.

According to an ACER report, school leaders report the number of teachers taking personal or sick leave spikes at the end of each semester at report-writing times.

What’s more, teachers report that their attention at these times is diverted from the core aspects of their job such as planning high-quality instruction and continuing the delivery of curriculum.

This can impact students too. As teachers feel pressured to meet reporting deadlines, they rush to assign final assessments in preparation for reporting, leaving students feeling overwhelmed.

Academic reports are a budget burden too. The cost of one academic reporting cycle for an average primary school (345 students) is the equivalent of a salary for 1 FTE teacher for a year.

Meanwhile, parents would actually prefer more frequent communication about their child’s learning with continuous reporting throughout the semester. That way they can address any learning struggles as they arise, rather than waiting until the end of semester.


Choose a learning management system with robust feedback tools for continuous reporting

Look for a learning management system that supports a continuous reporting framework, so you can provide timely and targeted feedback to students and parents about their learning progress for each subject.

For example, SEQTA provides a range of feedback tools that provide opportunities for students to predict and reflect on the assessment of their work, and set learning goals.

This data is collected in a single system that captures all assessment and reporting data in an intuitive design, so teachers and school leaders can feel confident that their primary roles are not going to be hijacked by endless reporting admin.

School reporting made easy

To overcome these top reporting challenges, you need to go beyond yesterday’s inadequate information access and disparate reporting systems.

You need an Education Management Information System that provides a single source of truth, streamlines reporting processes and frees your staff to do what they do best.