ACARA news, March 2021

ACARA responds to News Corp’s false articles

18 March 2021

An article in News Corp papers today incorrectly states there have been changes to the My School website that prevent parents from comparing school performances on NAPLAN.

That is not the case and has never been the case.

Parents have always been able, and still are able, to compare school performance on NAPLAN on the website.

Changes to the My School website that help parents better understand the NAPLAN data displays were made over 12 months ago and there are no ‘new bans’ as claimed in the article. ACARA issued a media release at the time and the changes were covered in the media in March 2020.

Parents can access My School NAPLAN data for comparisons and an additional measure of student progress using NAPLAN data was added in March 2020. This change gives greater focus to progress rather than on statistically similar schools and is presented in a way that is fair and easy to understand.

The amendments to the data presentations were agreed by all Australia’s education ministers in December 2019, following a comprehensive review of the way NAPLAN data is presented on My School conducted by Emeritus Professor Bill Louden.

They were subject to extensive consultation with stakeholders, statistical experts and parent focus groups and were welcomed particularly by parents.

The March 2020 media release on the changes to the My School website clearly states the reasons for the change as well as the broad support from the parent community.

ACARA was not given the opportunity to reply to the inaccurate claims that parents are prevented from comparing school performances on the My School website.

Media contact: 0414 063 872, [email protected]

My School  updated for 2021

17 March 2021

The My School website has been updated for 2021 with new data including school profiles, school finance and post-school destinations. A refresh of data on 2019 senior secondary and VET in schools has also been completed.

Since 2010, the My School website has been providing up-to-date information about all Australia’s schools.

The cancellation of NAPLAN for May 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic means there is no NAPLAN data in the My School 2021 update.

School attendance data for 2020 has also not been published as the data was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as a result of the different arrangements that were put in place for schooling across the country in response to health advice.

“The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted our lives across the globe and NAPLAN was cancelled to assist school leaders, teachers and support staff to focus on the wellbeing of students and continuity of education, as they responded to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho. 

“Each state and territory had a very different experience when it came to schooling. While in some states and territories students were still able to attend school in person, other states had to adapt quickly to teaching remotely, meaning the reporting data on attendance isn’t consistent”.

My School provides information that supports national transparency and accountability of Australia’s schools through the publication of nationally consistent school-level data. It complements other reporting measures aimed at ensuring schools and school systems are accountable to parents and to the broader community.  

For parents, My School information helps inform the discussions they have with teachers and supports them in making informed decisions about their child’s education. The child’s teacher will have the best insight into educational progress.   

The 2021 My School update contains:   

  • 2020 school profile and population data  
  • 2019 school financial information, including capital expenditure and sources of funding.

Visit the My School website for more information.

ACARA CEO addresses SMH School Summit

01 March 2021

ACARA CEO, David de Carvalho, recently took to the stage as part of the third annual Sydney Morning Herald Schools Summit to discuss the upcoming Australian Curriculum Review.

“Another way to describe what are hoping to achieve is that we want to give the Australian Curriculum the Marie Kondo treatment,” said Mr de Carvalho, who hopes the proposed revised curriculum will excite teachers.

“We want teachers to go on the public consultation website on 29 April and see a curriculum that they can’t wait to teach.”

We look forward to hearing views to help us improve the curriculum and ensure it serves our children, equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to live fulfilling lives.

Whether you are a teacher, a parent, you work in education or are someone who has a particular interest in it, your feedback is important to us.

Read Mr de Carvalho's full speech (PDF 92 kb).