The national report on education periodically presents a major empirical review which covers the entire German education system. Published every two years, each report provides indicator-based information about the general conditions, features, results and output of education processes.
The reports analyse the entire structure of the education system from early childhood education and school education to vocational training, higher education and adult education.
As a data-based, problem-centred analysis the reports do not include assessments and recommendations. What is special about these reports is that they are mainly based on selected indicators, i. e. combined statistical parameters, each representing a central feature of education processes or a central aspect of education quality. These indicators are derived from official data and representative socio-scientific assessments and wherever possible, they are compared as regards developments over the past years and decades, broken down by the federal states (Länder) and compared internationally. However, this claim to quality and explanatory power of the data also renders evident the limits of the educational report. It can only take into account current problems in the development of education to the extent that reliable data have been ascertained. The core set of indicators remains the same in each report, hence a comparison of developments is guaranteed while the accentuation differs. Educational reporting receives its specific informative power from this consistency. Moreover, each volume includes further indicators for additional subject areas.