My School website 'no real value'
AS THE Fraser Coast Anglican College was crowned the cream of the region’s educational crop, the school’s principal yesterday dismissed the website that put it there.
FCAC principal Tony Wood summed up the controversial My School website, launched yesterday, as “pretty limited”, saying the quality of the information available was lacking.
“What is it telling me if I am a parent? What am I needing to know to decide where to send my child to school?” Mr Wood said.
“There’s a lot more that should be considered by parents. I don’t think an accurate measure of how a school is performing can be captured by that website.”
The ACARA website assesses the performances of primary and high schools throughout the country, based on NAPLAN results.
Schools with students from similar economic and social backgrounds are compared nationwide.
FCAC rated in the top six in the NAPLAN Year 9 results for reading in the 60-school group in which it was placed. With a 604 rating, FCAC was one mark ahead of Adelaide High School.
“How much worse does that make the Adelaide school? What use is that for a parent?”
Outdoor education, school safety and the happiness of students were just as relevant to an assessment of a school, he maintained.
“It’s not pointless,” Mr Wood said. “We as schools need to have some degree of accountability and transparency.
“But accountability is more effective when it’s based on a relationship of integrity between the school and parents. Parents’ dreams need to align with the dreams of the school.
“I’m not sure the website has that quality of information.
“Parents need to walk into a school, meet the students that go there, meet the teachers that work there, to get a real sense of the school.”
Xavier Catholic College in Hervey Bay and St Mary’s College in Maryborough also rated highly in an analysis of NAPLAN reading and numeracy results.
Xavier principal Kerry Swann described the website as a fizzer.
He said it could influence private schools, which survive through their results, to take only the top students to keep their averages up.