11 October, 2002
Attention: Education editors and writers


The national organisation representing parents and school councils in government schools across Australia has come out strongly against "league tables" as a method of informing parents about school quality.

Rodney Molesworth, President of the Australian Council of State School Organisations (ACSSO) said this today:

"Lazy governments which lack commitment to either quality schooling or rich and detailed reporting to parents are always the ones to promote narrow and crude competitive measures of "school performance". These do more harm than good and are no substitute for the information about schools and student progress that parents have been demanding in vain for decades.

""League tables", and all types of competitive reporting of so-called "school performance", are objectionable because:

"Parents have been demanding more knowledge and control in the education of their children for a very long time. They want to know how their child will be taught, whether he/she will have a teacher they get along with, will they be accepted as a partner with the teacher and school in the development of their child as a future worker and citizen, will they get a say in the formation of curriculum, student welfare policies, and extra-curricular opportunities. Most of all, they want regular, detailed reporting on the individual progress of their child towards a fulfilling, rewarding and happy future.

"Governments find these demands irksome, intrusive and expensive. They would much rather publish some meaningless and damaging figures they already have available, and leave schools to sink or swim in the media frenzy that ensues.

"Parents reject this approach, and call on all Governments to abandon the false god of competitive reporting of so-called "school performance" and to negotiate for the introduction of a properly resourced system of detailed reporting to parents, and to ensure that every public school is resourced to provide a first-class education to every student in the community it serves.

For further information and comment

Contact: Rodney Molesworth


Australian Council of State School Organisations Inc

Mobile: 0402 433 400