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Former PM resolute about establishing My School Website

Posted on 16 June 2018
Former PM resolute about establishing My School Website
Former prime minister Julia Gillard makes no apology for establishing the controversial My School website as education minister, despite concerns it has become a rating tool and led to a multimillion-dollar coaching industry.

She said she was also pleased to see politicians "falling over themselves" to align themselves with her policy of needs-based funding.

Ms Gillard said fears about the negative effects of the My School website had not eventuated, but did not address recent criticism of the comparison system made by many, including NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes.

"I fought for the radical transparency provided by the My School website, believing that the more good-quality information that we deliver in the public realm, the more that is out there, the better education policy debate is going to be," she said at the EduTECH conference in Sydney yesterday. "I still believe that. The nightmare scenario painted at the time I delivered that reform, of league tables and name and shame, has simply not come true, and I was very confident it would never come true."

Ms Gillard also said her needs-based school funding reform was "bitterly opposed every step of the way" by those who wanted to get political advantage from siding with certain school sectors.

"Now I am delighted to see people from all sides of politics falling over themselves to grab the mantle of being the truest believer in needs-based funding," she said. "This is a change in Australian politics of which I am very proud."

NSW Teachers Federation President Maurie Mulheron said the only reason My School didn't lead to league tables was industrial action by teachers. "It's really galling to hear her say that," he said. "[My School] has turned what was meant to be low-stakes into a highstakes test. It has caused immeasurable damage to the teaching of curriculum across the country. It has led to the blossoming of a coaching industry.

"The creation of My School was a singularly retrograde policy initiative, which very few people in the profession would defend."

 

From; Sydney Morning Herald, Sydney  by Jordan Baker
09 Jun 2018

Tags: Governance Government

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