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Maharey makes a mockery of school secrecy

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

22 March 2006

Maharey makes a mockery of school secrecy

Steve Maharey's release of individual school performance data to me makes a mockery of his Government's attempts to keep this information from parents, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English. The Government has banned parents from accessing schools' performance data on the Ministry of Education's SchoolSmart website.

Mr English says Mr Maharey gave him the following information in response to a written request:

* Detailed analysis of 2004 NCEA results, including top 10 and bottom 10 performing schools in each decile across a range of criteria, including - proportion of students gaining a level one qualification, proportion of students gaining a level three qualification, proportion of school leavers with no qualifications.

* Teacher Turnover Rates for individual schools for each of the past five years.

* Suspension and Stand Down Rates for individual schools. "If the Minister is happy for me to have this information, why can't he let parents have access to it? After all, parents have a much stronger interest in their children's educational progress than most bureaucrats, who do have access to it."

The data shows that at one Wellington primary school, teacher turnover has averaged 39% over the past three years, whereas the average teacher turnover for schools in that decile is only 13%. It also shows that at one decile 1 school, 81% of year 11 students received level 1 NCEA qualifications, compared with 0% at the bottom eight schools in that decile. Mr English says parents need this information to make informed choices for their children.

ENDS

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