My School website update gives parents fairer picture of schools’ NAPLAN performance

My School website update gives parents fairer picture of schools’ NAPLAN performance

The My School website has been updated for 2022 with new data, including the first NAPLAN results since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

The updates from the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) include 2021 NAPLAN results for schools; school profile and population data; 2021 school attendance data; and 2020 school financial information.

This allows parents to see their school’s result as well as updated data on its socio-educational profile.

“Too often, media organisations try to construct crude ‘league tables’ based on overall achievement without considering the schools’ level of socio-educational advantage or the amount of progress the students have made in the previous two years,” ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho, said.

“Such comparisons are meaningless.”

In 2022, more than 500 Australian schools showed well above the average progress of students with the same starting score and similar backgrounds for at least one domain and more than 30% of these schools were in regional or remote areas.

de Carvalho said the schools that are “punching above their weight” are those that are achieving above expectation in terms of progress on where their students were two years ago, taking into account their level of socio-educational advantage.

“Let’s find out what those schools are doing and think about how good practice can be replicated.”

‘My School shows Aussie schools are highly diverse’

The Association of Heads of Independent Schools of Australia (AHISA) welcomed the decision to include the school data, saying My School 2022 “demonstrates a robust, diverse schooling system”.

“One of the strongest stories that My School tells is that Australian schools are highly diverse,” AHISA’s CEO, Beth Blackwood, said.

“This diversity is evident not just in the relative socio-educational profile of schools’ student communities, but in their size and the range of year levels offered.”

Recent research conducted for ACARA by market research specialist EY Sweeney indicates that the majority (44%) of parents surveyed said they visit My School to see how their child’s school is performing in literacy and numeracy.

Forty-one percent do so to help inform decisions made in relation to their child’s education, while 32% do so to fairly compare their child’s school’s performance with other schools. Twenty-one percent of parents said they visit My School to find schools within a geographical area.

Blackwood recommended that parents using My School data to help them choose the most appropriate school for their child should read the school profile section and follow the links to schools’ websites.

“While the My School website is a good place for parents to start when gathering information about where they will educate their children, it is important to remember that My School gives only a very limited snapshot of school life,” Blackwood said.

“A visit to the My School site is no substitute for a personal visit to a school, where parents have the opportunity to talk with the principal, teachers and students to help determine whether the school is the best choice to meet the unique needs and interests of their child.”