Parent Reports - Create and Manage Report Templates

Parent reports, in Insight, are almost entirely customisable, to suit your needs.

Admin users can customise Parent Reports, which may then be used by teachers, or other users, to generate reports in bulk.

This guide describes how to create a template and get Insight to automatically populate your reports with comments, assessments and other data.

The following five-minute video walks through the main points using a practical example.

Looking for information on filling out comments and/or downloading your reports? Use this guide.
What is a Parent Report Template?

The design of each parent report is defined by a template - a simple Word file which tells Insight what information you want displayed on the report and where you want it located. Because it's a Word document, you have total control over the design, right down to colour scheme, background, images, tables, and logos.

You can set up as many templates as you need for teachers to use when writing reports for parents. You might need different ones for each year group, or a set of termly parent reports and a different set of statutory assessment reports.

Preset Templates

Insight provides some built in templates. These could be used with no, or minimal, changes or as a start point for your own amended version.

You can see all the templates at Admin > Parent Report Templates.

Most of the Insight templates (EYFS, Phonics, KS1, KS2, MTC) are designed to enable reporting statutory assessments.

You can download, tweak and use all of these to suit your school, and/or design additional templates to meet your needs.

Creating and Customising Templates

We suggest reviewing the built in templates to see if any they meet your requirements. If not, you can start from scratch or download a built in template and amend it.

Here, we'll walk through how to create the built in template called End of Year. If you have your own, existing, parent report you already use in your school, you can still use the following steps to make it usable as an Insight template.

To get started, make sure you're on the Admin > Parent Report Templates page.

The Parent Report Templates screen has three windows: on the left are the list of Template Files and the option to customise the filenames of downloaded reports; on the right are the Placeholders, which are used to define what information from Insight will be displayed in your reports.

Here is the report, as a blank template, similar to ones you may already have in school.

Right now, I’d need to fill this in this for every pupil, typing or pasting comments and data in.

Lets see what we can do to get Insight to complete all of that for me.

Firstly, the actual layout and visuals of the report can stay exactly as they are. Insight will be quite happy with almost any Word file. The school logo, for example, can just be included as part of the Word file and it will appear in each pupil report.

So all I need to do is tell Insight what to fill each of the boxes with.


All parent reports will consist of a combination of "static" pieces of information, which don't change from report to report (such as the report headings and your school logo), and "dynamic" pieces of information, which do change from report to report (such as a pupil's name).

In your template, the dynamic content is defined by placeholders. These are the elements contained by curly brackets (also known as braces), for example {First Name} and {Comment: Teacher Comment}. Think of placeholders in your templates as stand-ins for the pieces of information which will be different on each report. They allow you to draw information from Insight and determine where to put it on the page.

You can copy placeholders from the Parent Report Templates page. Initially, you'll see a list of placeholders relating to Pupil Details - Name, Class, Year Group, Attendance, etc - which are likely to go at the top of your report. Click on the Display Placeholders for dropdown to see the other options.

You can copy placeholders for Pupil Details, Calendar, Attendance, Assessments and Progress data, Objectives, Comments, and the range of statutory assessments.

Placeholders are intended to present the data in the best way for parents. As such, the additional data that reports could usually display for Standardised Scores (percentile ranking) and Age type assessments (difference in months between actual age and assessed age) is not included.

Let's make our way through our blank report and add in the necessary placeholders.

Pupil Details and Calendar

At the top of the report we have our title section.

Without using placeholders, the template will need changing for each year group and pupil, or if I want to use the same template in another term.

Firstly, we want the placeholder for Year Group, in the Pupil Details section.

Clicking the small Copy icon allows me to then paste the placeholder into my report.

The name placeholders will replace the pupil name in my template, and the class placeholder will insert the correct class name.

The Calendar section has various date and term related placeholders. The ones that begin with Selected will automatically use the selection when you come to produce the reports. This means you won't have to change the template if you use the same one in another term, or year.

The {Current Date: dd/MM/yyyy} placeholder allows you to precisely define how you want the date to appear in the reports. For example {Current Date: mm/dd/yyyy} would display the date in the format 01/07/2023. {Current Date: d/m/yy} would display the date using as few characters as possible, 1/7/23 for example. Using mmm will show the abbreviated name of the month, e.g. Jul, and mmmm the full name, e.g. July. An underscore ( _ ) will insert a space.

Here's the title section with all the placeholders in place.

So you can see, I now have a header that will automatically use the appropriate text for each pupil and time of year.


You can define different comment elements for your reports. Many will require a "Teacher Comment", so a placeholder for this exists by default. Click the + Add Another button to create others. For example, you might want to record comments on pupils' achievements in individual subjects, list their targets for the coming year, or provide a field for a headteacher's comment. You don't have to use all comments in all reports, of course.

Once added, the comments will be available in the Pupils section > Parent Reports tab for teachers to enter. A separate comment is available for each term if you need it.

For my report, I want comments for Reading, Writing and Maths. As before, just copy and paste the placeholders.

When Insight inserts the comments, it will use the same font and size you use for the placeholder, so be sure to choose the options you want.

Assessments and Progress

All the assessments you use in your school will be available for placeholders.

Just choose the various criteria to build the placeholders, then copy and paste them in.

For Assessments, you can choose between specifying the term you want (e.g. Summer) or choose Selected Term to create a placeholder that will use the term you choose in the main Parent Reports page. The former is useful where you want to include historical assessments in a report. The latter is useful where you have a standard template used multiple times throughout the year.

I've used the Selected Term option.

Adding effort grades

Insight is capable of storing any data in any format, and an assessment of effort is no exception. Effort will appear in the Assessments section, and I've included it in my report for Reading, Writing and Maths.

Contact Insight support if you'd like us to create a mark scheme for Effort, or any other type of data you want to collect in Insight.

The attendance section includes a number of different placeholders for attendance data. The attendance values will be the ones for the current academic year that are in Insight at the point you create the report. Changing the academic year will not change the displayed attendance.

Statutory assessments

The Statutory Assessments placeholders (EYFS, Phonics, KS1 and KS2) enable you to meet your obligations to report these to parents. There are Insight provided templates for these also.


If you are recording Objectives assessments, it may be useful to report these to parents as, for example, recent achievements and things to work on.

The Mark List table placeholder will insert a table explaining the different assessment descriptions in your school.

The Assessment table placeholder will insert a table with the objectives, and their associated assessments, numbered according to the Mark list table.

The Assessment table grouped by attainment placeholder inserts a table for each subject, and assessment range.

The Choose for specific grid option allows a placeholder to be created that only includes objectives from the specified grids (usually subjects).

Uploading the completed template

Save the completed Word template with a suitable filename. Insight will use this name when selecting the report later.

Click Upload New Report Template to select and upload the file. It will then appear with the other templates, and also be available via Reports > Parent Reports for non admin users to run for pupils.

Filename Options

When you come to export the Parent Reports, via the main Reports > Parent Reports page, it can use useful to specify the filename format to suit your needs.

By default, Insight names the reports using the pupil full name. Use the section on the bottom left of the Parent Report Templates page to customise the filename.

Filename format

You can use a combination of placeholders, as dynamic text, and any other text you want to appear in every filename.

For example:

{First name} {Last name} End of year report

Filename changes apply to all templates downloaded as per pupil. You may need to change the format if you're downloading multiple template types and require different filenames.
Invalid Placeholders

When you preview a template in Reports > Parent Reports you may see a warning that the template contains some invalid placeholders.

Similarly, in Admin > Parent Report Templates, If a template has a yellow triangle exclamation icon, then it contains invalid placeholders. You can click the icon to see which are invalid.

This means that there are placeholders in the template that reference data items missing in your school set up. This could happen for one of the built in templates or, perhaps, if you've imported a template from another school using Insight.

For example, if the template has placeholders for Effort, but you don't record an Effort grade, then this would represent an invalid placeholder.

Clicking Show Details will list all the invalid placeholders in that template.

You can still use the template, Insight will just ignore the invalid placeholders, or you may want to make changes to the template to remove the invalid placeholders.

Alternatively you may want to change your school setup to support those placeholders. Some elements, such as comments, can be added by any admin user. Others, such as Effort, will require Insight support to add for you. Just get in touch if you need any help with this.

How did we do?

Powered by HelpDocs (opens in a new tab)