Schools' planning and reporting

Guidance and requirements for developing, submitting and publishing your planning and reporting documents. These documents are part of your wider planning and reporting cycle.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • School Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki

It is a statutory requirement for school boards to develop and submit planning and reporting documents each year. These requirements are set out in the Education Act 1989 ¹, to be read in conjunction with the National Administration Guidelines. On 13 November 2020, the Government issued a Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP). Read more information about the NELP and how it relates to your planning and reporting: The Statement of National Education and Learning Priorities (NELP).


As a school board, you are accountable for the performance of your school or kura. You play a vital role in deciding and leading future direction and performance. 

A key focus of your role is improving student progress, achievement and wellbeing, particularly for students at risk of not achieving. 

Planning and reporting are important functions that support your ability to perform your role. Setting targets for the coming year, regularly reviewing progress and evaluating what has been achieved means your school and students will be better placed for educational success. 

The key stages of planning and reporting

Planning and reporting is a collaborative process. It provides your board with an opportunity to work with staff, students, parents and whānau and your community to develop shared aims and targets for what you want your students to achieve. 

As a school board, your planning and reporting responsibilities involve four key stages:

  1. planning
  2. implementing and monitoring
  3. evaluating
  4. reporting.

The following information is also available as a downloadable PDF: An overview of the planning and reporting cycle [PDF, 34 KB]



Involve the school leadership team, staff, students, communities, mana whenua and iwi in the planning stage to identify shared vision and goals for students.

Gathering information

The board will need information and evidence to support the development of its strategic plan. This collected information will form the base of its decision making and need to include: 

  • robust and analysed current and trend data on student progress, achievement and wellbeing
  • resources available to allocate towards achieving goals
  • competing priorities requiring resources.

While gathering information, it is important to determine how it can be best summarised to be most useful. How can this data support the board's comprehensive understanding of the progress of cohorts of students in relation to expected levels of progress, achievement and wellbeing?


Identify the students or groups of students that aren't achieving or at risk of not achieving. What goals will need to be set? What do the evidence and consultation tell the board about which goals should be prioritised? Do staff, students, communities, mana whenua and iwi support the prioritised goals?

Developing the charter

A charter sets out the board's proposed actions and allocated resources for achieving a small number of key goals to improve student progress, achievement and wellbeing for equity and excellence.

A charter includes broad, long-term goals as part of the strategic plan which are broken down into measurable targets in the annual plan/s.

A charter should identify the stakeholders that play a role in achieving the goals. Are the stakeholders and their roles clear within the charter?

Implementing and monitoring

The board should use the charter at every board meeting to review progress made towards achieving the goals and targets.

What is working well and what might need to change?


Reporting progress to staff, students, communities and iwi highlights the progress made and provides an evaluation of what actions have and haven't been successful. 


What does the level of student progress, achievement and wellbeing tell the board about how successful the strategies were?

What changes might the board need to make to the goals in the strategic plan or the targets in the annual plan?

What achievement and evaluation information will be needed to set revised goals or targets?

Developing your planning and reporting documents

Each of your school's planning and reporting documents has a specific purpose. The following links contain advice, requirements and additional resources to support the development of these documents.

The charter

Key to note: the charter is your board's key planning document. The legislative requirements for what the charter must contain are set out in section 61 of the Education Act 1989. These requirements should be read in conjunction with the National Administration Guidelines

Charter overview and template

Analysis of variance

Key to note: the analysis of variance is your board's key reporting document for the progress made against your goals and targets set out in your charter. The legislative requirements for what an analysis of variance must contain are set out in section 87(2)(e) of the Education Act 1989.

Analysis of variance overview and template

Annual report

Key to note: includes several key items – annual audited financial statements, statement of responsibility signed and dated, audit report signed and dated, statement on Kiwisport funding, copy of the analysis of variance.

Schools' annual report (annual finance statement)

English Language Learners progress template

Optional template for boards to report progress about English Language Learners for reading, writing, speaking or listening.

ELL Progressions template [DOCX, 100 KB]

Key dates to submit your documents 

There are two key dates for submitting your planning and reporting documents to the Ministry. These dates are legal requirements for all boards of state and state-integrated schools and kura. 

By 1 March:

  • your annually updated charter
  • analysis of variance.

By 31 May:

  • your annual report (which is required to include a copy of your analysis of variance).

How to submit your documents to the Ministry

Your planning and reporting documents should be submitted to the Ministry using the Secure Data Portal(external link):

  • all documents should be submitted in a Microsoft Office format (e.g. doc, docx, xlsx) or .PDF
  • all documents must be 22MB or less to be successfully uploaded to the Secure Data Portal
  • an education sector logon (ESL) is required to access the Secure Data Portal. 

Visit Education Services website(external link) if you need help logging into the Secure Data Portal.

Publishing requirements

It is a statutory requirement to make your school’s annual report (which includes a copy of your analysis of variance) available to the public on an internet site that is maintained by, or on behalf of, your board. Your board is also required to make your charter available. You may wish to publish your charter on your school's website.

Find more information and FAQs about publishing your annual report online

Privacy requirements

Before you make any of your planning and reporting documents publicly available, your board must check if they contain any information that might breach an individual’s privacy. If they do, you may have grounds to redact this information to protect their privacy.

Guidance for redacting planning and reporting documents [DOCX, 148 KB]

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