Tammy Kippax with her son Jakson, 7.
Tammy Kippax with her son Jakson, 7.

Alternative scam shown to family

IT started two months ago with a seemingly innocent phone survey on education, which Tammy Kippax of Westlawn obligingly took part in. But it ended in a suspicious scheme to sell the family a $5000 education computer system.

About a fortnight ago, Mrs Kippax was informed by phone that she had won the chance to have one of her children assessed by the Academic Institute of Australia, so a time was arranged for last week.

About an hour past the arranged time, she said, a man calling himself Louis arrived at the family's home and started discussing the importance of education.

“There was no identification, no card and he showed us no qualification,” she said.

Mrs Kippax's eldest daughter Taleisha said Louis spoke of his own life story and how his father had worked two jobs to ensure that he and his brothers got the best education and that he was having a break from a degree in commercial law to work.

Mrs Kippax's son Jakson, a Year 2 student, then sat a short maths test as part of an ‘assessment' of his academic ability.

Louis then marked the test and told Mrs Kippax and her husband Shorn that Jakson had not performed well.

“He then showed us a graph on a slideshow showing how teachers focused on middle-performing students so the good students weren't stimulated enough and the substandard students weren't taken care of.

“He said that Jakson would fall through the cracks.”

Mrs Kippax said Louis then introduced a $4990 computer learning system which could be paid off over time.

She said various options were presented to make the system more affordable including paying a deposit now and promising to pay the company the Education Tax Refund when it arrived.

Though she preferred not to be quoted by name, a senior teacher at a Grafton primary school said the tests which Jakson had been assessed with were completely inadequate and were more like a daily worksheet than a proper assessment document.

The two 10-question assessment sheets did not have enough examples of each type of problem to adequately assess whether the student understood the question or not.

She said there were quite a number of questions on the sheets which an early Year 2 student would not be expected to know.

“We are very concerned that no police check was presented, no identification, no qualification shown,” she said.

The Daily Examiner spoke late yesterday to Louis Arida from Academic Institute of Australia who said he was a manager with the company which employed between one and 20 people.

He said he did not wish to comment on the Kippax case as it would breach a “verbal confidentiality agreement” he had made with them.

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