‘My School’ Website — Save Our Schools

My School Comparisons Expose Hypocrisy of PM and Gillard

The Save Our Schools public education advocacy group today accused the Prime Minister and the Federal Education Minister of hypocrisy and duplicity about reporting school results. SOS national convenor, Trevor Cobbold, said they have broken each of their three key promises about publishing school results.

“The Prime Minister and the Federal Education Minister gave assurances that schools would not be unfairly compared; schools would not be “named and shamed”; and that they would not support “simplistic” league tables. My School shows they have failed to deliver on all of these promises. Their assurances are exposed as duplicitous.

“The Prime Minister has long said that government schools in disadvantaged areas would not be compared with “likes of Geelong Grammar and the rest” but this is exactly what My School does.

“Its local schools webpage compares the results of Geelong Grammar – one of the wealthiest schools in Australia –with government and Catholic schools in Corio and Norlane, which are amongst the most disadvantaged suburbs in Australia. Geelong Grammar has 1% of its students in the bottom quarter of the My School socio-economic index compared to over 90% for many other schools in the area including Corio PS, Corio South PS, Corio West PS, and St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic School.

“This is the kind of “simplistic” and “arbitrary” school comparison that the Prime Minister and the Federal Education Minister say they are opposed to. It is not the only example. My School provides many other unfair comparisons between the most advantaged and disadvantaged schools around Australia.” (see attached table)

Mr. Cobbold also condemned the Government for breaking its guarantee not to name and shame schools.

“Julia Gillard gave an absolute guarantee that schools would not be ‘named and shamed’. Yet, this is precisely what My School does. Schools with the worst results are given a red flag. The red flag signifies danger, don’t go there. Why else was the colour red chosen to grade the lowest performing schools, other than to punish them?

“Most often it is schools serving the most disadvantaged communities in Australia that are given red flags. These are the schools working in the most difficult of circumstances, yet their reward from the Rudd Government is to be pilloried in public.

“This is public shaming of the worst possible kind. By ‘red flagging’ schools, Gillard is aiding and abetting an annual ritual hunt for the worst performing schools around Australia that happens in England and the United States.

“This is not the path to school improvement. Students in these schools will be humiliated and demoralised. Students who are humiliated for their learning accomplishments are unlikely to respond positively in their future learning. It makes the task of teachers and schools that much harder.”

Mr. Cobbold said that the PM and Ms. Gillard have been shown to be hypocritical in their claim that the Government did not support “simplistic” league tables.

“The league tables published in today’s Canberra Times and the tables of the best and worst schools published in the Herald-Sun demonstrate the Government’s hypocrisy on league tables. The Government claims it is against ‘simplistic’ league tables, but it has published the data that allows their publication and washed its hands of all responsibility.

“These league tables are the most ‘simplistic’ and damaging kind. They do not take any account of the differences in the socio-economic background of students. So much for Julia Gillard’s claim that so-called ‘like school’ comparisons would provide context for the reporting of school results.”

Mr. Cobbold said that the only answer to the Government’s duplicity is to boycott the next round of national tests.

“The Government has been totally hypocritical and intransigent on reporting school results. It has made false promises. It has refused to acknowledge the harm done by unfair and simplistic comparisons between schools.

“Parents should join with teachers in boycotting the national literacy and numeracy tests next May by withdrawing their students from the tests.”


Trevor Cobbold    (02) 6291 6396 (h)        0410 121 640 (m)

SOS – Fighting for Equity in Education


Examples of Unfair Local School Comparisons

Metropolitan Region High SES Schools
Low SES Schools
Northern Geelong Geelong Grammar (1138)

1% in bottom quarter

74% top quarter

Corio PS (916)

SES quarters not provided

Corio West PS (933)

90% bottom quarter

0% top quarter

Corio Sth PS (932)

92% bottom quarter

0% top quarter

Norlane West PS (951)

71% bottom quarter

1% top quarter

North Shore PS (951)

88% bottom quarter

4% top quarter

Flinders Peak Sec College (954)

90% bottom quarter

1% top quarter

Norlane HS (951)

86% bottom quarter

1% top quarter

St. Thomas Aquinas (917)

93% bottom quarter

0% top quarter

St. Francis Xavier’s (924)

88% bottom quarter

0% top quarter

Inner Northern Melbourne Brunswick Sth West PS (1132)

92% top quarter

0% bottom quarter

Flemington PS (1131)

78% top quarter

3% bottom quarter

Nth Melbourne PS (1049)

92% top quarter

1% bottom quarter

Brunswick Secondary College


78% top quarter

3% bottom quarter

Princess Hill Secondary College (1148)

74% top quarter

1% bottom quarter

University HS (1141)

76% top quarter

3% bottom quarter

Debney Meadows PS (887)

SES quarters are incorrect, but mainly refugee families

Debney Park College (982)

SES quarters are incorrect

Inner Western Sydney Newington College (1142)

72% top quarter

1% bottom quarter

Marrickville HS (926)

21% top quarter

5% bottom quarter

Northern Brisbane St. Dympha’s Parish School (1061)

32% top quarter

9% bottom quarter

Zillmere PS (846)

2% top quarter

66% bottom quarter

South-west Brisbane Good News Lutheran School (1123)

71% top quarter

1 % bottom quarter

St. Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School (1180)

83% top quarter

2% bottom quarter

Darra PS (953)

3% top quarter

71% bottom quarter

North-west Perth Bold Park Community School (1155)

71% top quarter

3% bottom quarter

Chrysalis Montessori School (1120)

62% top quarter

2% bottom quarter

Osborne Park (986)

6% top quarter

36% bottom quarter


  1. Values for the My School Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage are in brackets. The index values are set around the mean of 1000.
  2. Percentages are of students in top and bottom ICSEA quarters

One thought on “‘My School’ Website — Save Our Schools

  1. Peter Curtis says:

    The new “MySchool” pack comes with posters for class room walls….


    Help build a Campaign for the equitable provision of resources to students in the public education system.

    Call to boycott NAPLAN and stop the Government’s misinformation campaign.

    By Peter Curtis, a primary school teacher in the public sector.

    The National conference of the Australian Education Union has announced that it will call on members to boycott the National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). This is because NAPLAN results are being used as the primary indicator of school performance. The corporate media has and will use this information to develop crude league tables of winners and losers. The Deputy PM Gillard has said that this is not the intention of the government, meanwhile she refuses to ensure that these media interests will not construct such league tables.

    The government says it seeks greater transparency and accountability while it conducts a campaign to misinform parents. A feature of all current governments over the past decades has been their persistence in shifting debates away from substantive concerns related to social equity and justice. Governments have accepted the arguments and support of the corporate sector’s disparaging view of public education. The persistent message being fed to the public over recent decades is that there is an education crisis foremost in the public system. This ignores the fact the OECD has consistently ranked our schools in the top 10 in the world. These results have been achieved without high-stakes testing and the publication of data. Why are we mimicking Britain and the United States who have never managed to achieve these standards?

    All feedback to Peter Curtis


    Teachers, parents and citizens who care about education are opposing standardised testing and the Federal and State Government’s support of school league tables.

    Go to: http://www.soscanberra.com/

    Peter Curtis is teacher and a member of the Australian Education Union.
    His blog spot can be found at: Criticalconsciousness’s Blog


    Mobile: 0448307485

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