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Slashing school red tape target of new project

Hon Trevor Mallard
Minister of Education

7 September 2005 Media Statement

Slashing school red tape target of new data project

A new initiative to slash the form filling faced by schools as well as improving the use of data in decision-making was announced today by Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

Trevor Mallard said the availability of accurate, relevant, rich data on students in schools is critical to understanding the current effectiveness of our education system, as well as providing evidence for improvements. Electronic collection of this data will in future increase the accuracy of the collection as well as reducing the compliance burden on schools.

”The ‘Schools Integrated Data’ initiative will enable the automated collection of data from schools. This will eventually do away with multiple form-filling," said Trevor Mallard. "The project will also build the capability and infrastructure required to effectively store, analyse, use, and share this data. This will significantly improve our ability to develop evidence-based policy to improve education for students."

At the moment data is collected from schools by the Ministry and other education agencies using a series of manual forms. Schools fill in multiple forms, many of which require the same data. The data is entered into many separate data stores and analysed separately in different parts of the Ministry of Education.

Trevor Mallard acknowledged the administrative burden schools faced with an estimated 20 to 35 person days per annum used to prepare paperwork by administration staff, teachers and principals: "This project has a huge potential to slash the form filling faced by schools."

The Schools Integrated Data initiative will build on the funding package previously announced to assist schools in using accredited Student Management Systems (SMS). In addition, the government has approved an extra $8.5 million over three years towards the project. Data will in future be able to be drawn directly from school's SMS systems. A common data-gathering framework will be developed across all the education sector central agencies to enable a sharing of the data, which will stop separate agencies collecting the same information from schools.

The initiative will be implemented in two steps. Step one will focus on moving towards electronic collection of aggregate data at schools to reduce school burden in data supply, increase efficiency, and reduce error rates. This will make the analysis of information at the Ministry more effective as well.

Step two, for which funding will be considered by Government at a later stage, will build on this foundation and implement electronic gathering of disaggregated data, at an individual student level (anonymously), in a way similar to that which has already been put in place for the tertiary sector.

ENDS

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