Gulmarrad Public School principal Gary Faulks talks about the MySchool website.
Gulmarrad Public School principal Gary Faulks talks about the MySchool website.

Principals unhappy with website

MEDIA reports that NSW school principals support the controversial My School website are a misinterpretation of statistics and far from the truth, Gulmarrad Public School principal Gary Faulks said this week.

The Sunday Telegraph, quoting a NSW Primary Principals’ Association survey, claimed principals had ‘made a mockery’ of teacher unions’ stance against the My School site because 67 per cent of the 800 surveyed said they would ‘work with the Federal Government to make it (the My School site) more complete, accurate and credible’.

Rather than ‘work with the Federal Government’ as written in the paper, the survey option which was supported by 67 per cent of principals was to ‘apply professional pressure to Governments to make the site ... reflective of what schools are really all about’.

Mr Faulks said other important results of the survey were ignored by the newspaper, including:

  • The My School site was a ‘time bomb’ potentially damaging to broad Primary curriculum (67 per cent support);
  •  Was a political exercise with little benefit to schools or communities (77 per cent support);
  •  The My School site had had ‘little or no effect’ on the staff (61 per cent), the principals themselves (68 per cent) and the school community (77 per cent);
  •  The ICSEA (community socio-educational advantage) rating system was inaccurate (65 per cent);
  •  76 per cent of principals surveyed found the list of ‘statistically similar’ schools on the site were unhelpful.

Calling the ICSEA system rubbish, Mr Faulks said the My School site listed several schools supposedly ‘statistically similar’ to Gulmarrad Public School (student enrolments 194, 8 teachers) which simply could not be compared.

One such school, the private St Gregory’s Primary School in Queanbeyan has 643 students, another school had 63 students and 10 teachers.

“It doesn’t even make sense,” the passionate principal said.

View a table of all Clarence Valley schools and their NAPLAN ratings here.



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