9 March 2016
The National Catholic Education Commission has welcomed the release of updated data on the My School website and said the recognition of schools that have achieved significant improvements should be used to support educators and students in all schools.
The Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority’s My School website was this morning updated with 2015 national assessment program (NAPLAN) results, 2015 profile and population data for each school, student attendance data broken down by Indigenous status and the 2014 financial information for each school, including capital expenditure and sources of funding.
“The My School website is one useful reference for parents, teachers, principals and educational leaders, as they reflect on how their school is performing and where focus should be put,” NCEC executive director Ross Fox said.
Mr Fox said the My School website offers a window into a school’s story – but is not the full picture.
“My School continues to be enhanced with new features and new information, but it remains only part of a school’s story,” he said.
“For families to gain a deeper understanding of a school community, there needs to be a direct experience of how the school can and will support each student.”
Mr Fox said the goal of Catholic schools is the holistic and balanced education of all students.
“Catholic education considers how each student can be supported in their learning experience – academically, socially, morally, physically and spiritually,” he said. “NAPLAN provides one insight into the academic development of a student.”
Mr Fox said the schools recognised by ACARA as having experienced “high gain” come from all sectors, from all school sizes and all parts of the country.
“Across Australia, quality teaching and learning is being seen in a wide array of settings and that is being translated into student improvement,” he said.
Mr Fox said the move to NAPLAN online, starting in some jurisdictions next year, will allow educators to more quickly understand the strengths and challenges of students and, therefore, start to address those challenges more quickly.
“Data and statistics can provide valuable tools for educators, families and the community when they are used to support quality teaching and learning,” he said. “By securing that information sooner, the educational opportunities of students can also be enhanced sooner.”
Mr Fox said regardless of how the test is administered, NAPLAN offers an opportunity for parents and educators to collaborate in the best interests of their child and student.
“Parents have a key role in the education of their children – before, during and after their schooling,” he explained. “If teachers and parents have a shared and clear understanding of the educational needs of the student, they can mutually support that student’s learning.”