Site My School causes a stir
WHEN Arlene, Harriet and Gwendolyn go to high school, their mum, Christina Illin, will be able to view the local competition at the click of a mouse.
At a new website titled My School, profiles of almost 10,000 Australian schools can be searched for information including student results. But not everyone is happy about the site.
Since the education ministers last year committed to the publication of school information under the National Education Agreement and the Schools Assistance Act 2008, it’s become a controversial issue.
Queensland Teachers’ Union Central Queensland organiser Barry Thomson is afraid the information will be taken out of context and not give an accurate picture of each school.
For Mrs Illin, the prospect of being able to compare schools in the area is a bonus for her in making the best decision for her children’s future.
Even so, the mother-of-six said that despite what the website portrayed, it wouldn’t change her mind about her children’s schooling at Allenstown Primary School at present.
The detailed figures on the My School website will also let mums and dads match the school’s performance against up to 60 others with similar social and economic profiles.
Education Minister Julia Gillard has made no apologies for the website.
Mr Thomson said the union had no issue with the website; just how information was presented and used.
“This information is quite readily available through schools now and has been for some time,” he said.
“The issue is the misuse of it through the formation of tables which tried to paint a picture of how a school is operating, but it can be taken out of context.”My School
What can be found at www.myschool.edu.au:
Descriptions of schools
Number of students and teachers
Senior secondary school outcomes
Data about students’ backgrounds
School results compared with the national average