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Government hiding school information

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

30 July 2006

Government hiding school information

The Government should open up its School Smart website on school performance so parents don't have to rely on media-driven school rankings when they are choosing schools, says National's Education spokesman, Bill English.

He is commenting on school rankings for Auckland schools produced by Metro magazine.

"This sort of ranking may help a minority of parents who live in the right zones or can afford the fees to choose, but it leaves the impression that only high decile or expensive schools do a good job.

"But most parents choosing schools have to rely on gossip and decile ratings, neither of which are indicators of educational performance.

"The Government gathers data on up to 20 indicators for all schools and presents analysis of it through the School Smart website. The ministry uses that data to identify schools at risk.

"Principals and bureaucrats can see it, but parents aren't allowed to. Under Labour they are the last to know if their child's school is losing its way or doing a great job.

"Labour should open up the School Smart website for online access by parents. Then every parent can get some indication of school performance," says Mr English.


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