Annual public reporting of year 12 results in league tables has been scrapped in Queensland.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the decision coincided with the transition of Queensland schools to a national system of tertiary entrance scores – the individual Australian Tertiary Admission Rank, or ATAR.
The first cohort of Queensland students to be given an ATAR was the class of 2020, leaving behind the former OP (overall position) system, which saw results published and widely compared.
Ms Grace said the move to the ATAR system meant it was no longer possible to publish league tables of schools.
“There’s a slight difference with the new ATAR score,” Ms Grace said.
“Students ‘own’ their score – so some schools may not receive the approval of their students to give that score to their school.
“Unfortunately it makes it difficult – and this is the same all over the country – to compare schools when possibly around 15 per cent or more of those schools may not have the results that they require for a true comparison.”
Ms Grace said parents and members of the public could still access the academic results of schools, but it was not the most accurate measure of a school.
“If parents want information on the school they are choosing for their child they are certainly able to do so at that school,” Ms Grace said.
“League tables do not give the full story of the competency or otherwise of the individual school or the state as a system, they are unnecessary, and honestly, in most cases they are inaccurate.”
Ms Grace suggested parents should base their decision on their catchment area, and the curriculum and subjects on offer.
‘Important accountability mechanism’
But opposition education spokesman Christian Rowan said the changed reporting was “not good enough” and “secretive”.
“It’s an important accountability mechanism of government because it gives a clear indication of how schools are going, how our education system is performing, and what changes can be made for subsequent students coming through the system,” Dr Rowan said.
“Parents have a right to know how students and schools are performing, and the education system in Queensland is really falling victim to secrecy over transparency.”
Dr Rowan suggested school-to-school ATAR comparisons were also important for the infrastructure and support-related decisions of government.
Ms Grace disagreed, saying ATAR results were not used in deciding resource allocations.
“Let me tell you, when schools need additional resources, they are absolutely given as required,” she said.
The University Admissions Centre (UAC) confirmed there was no national collation of the ATAR results — individual schools may or may not publish their statistics.
The president of the Isolated Children’s Parents’ Association (ICPA), Louise Martin, said ATAR results were not a central concern in school selection.
She said her organisation was more concerned about access to pastoral care, rather than academic results alone.
“When parents are selecting their boarding school, it’s a multi-faceted approach,” Ms Martin said.
“They’re concerned about support networks, pastoral care, the curriculum on offer.”
Source: Thanks msn.com