Reporting and quartiles
Policy: May 2006
That the AEU reaffirms its concern regarding the new reporting format that schools are being required to implement. Joint Primary and Secondary Sector Council also notes that a number of schools have withdrawn from the pilot because of the workload, short timeline, late provision of IT programs and concerns expressed by their parent community.
In addition to the issues raised at its last meeting, Council expresses its opposition to the statement in the new reports that tells parents that they can ask for the quartile ranking of their child.
When the new reporting format was introduced, the Premier stated that "a quartile system... will not help in increasing the skill level and the educational attainment in Victoria". The Minister for Education also rejected class rankings and The Age editorial asked "What useful purpose is served by leading children to believe, from an early age, that they are failures when compared with their friends?"
In the Blueprint for Government Schools area of the Department's website it states "Assessment and Reporting are essential elements of the learning and teaching process and are vital to the way students think about themselves and are engaged in the process of learning...Reporting is the process by which assessment information is communicated in ways that assist students, parents, teachers and the system in making decisions by providing information about what students know and can do, along with recommendations for their future learning."
The AEU totally rejects reports that include quartiles because they:
- Do not give any useful information to students, parents, teachers or the system;
- Are opposed to the pedagogical principles that underpin the student learning strategies in the Blueprint for Government Schools;
- Are being imposed on schools that have worked with their communities to develop appropriate reporting systems and formats; and
- Can be damaging to the self esteem of students.
The AEU calls on members to delete the section that informs parents about quartiles from the report template.
The AEU also calls on the Minister, as a matter of urgency, to provide additional resources and pupil free days for the implementation of initiatives related to the Blueprint, including the new reporting system.