School Accountability Will Benefit Students

The Business Council of Australia has welcomed the federal government’s My School website as an important step towards greater accountability by schools.

BCA Chief Executive Katie Lahey said the publication of school performance information would empower parents and, ultimately, enable more effective education.

“Improving accountability will focus attention on what matters most – how well schools educate students,” Ms Lahey said.

“The BCA welcomes the approach of allowing similar schools to be compared on their students’ performance in key areas such as literacy and numeracy.

“Information on school performance will make many people uncomfortable. But ultimately the gains are worth the cost. Better accountability will drive a healthier and more energetic pursuit of better schooling.

“For schools that are not performing as well as they should, greater transparency will put pressure on school leaders, school communities and governments. There will be greater pressure to address problems and to make changes to improve student learning.

“The availability of school performance information will need to be supported by other much-needed reforms, including the need to recognise and reward excellent teachers, and to provide school principals with greater autonomy.

“Our school education system should give every student the opportunity to gain the knowledge and skills needed for a rewarding career and a rewarding life.

“If we are to improve our schools tomorrow, we must start by seeing more clearly the results they are producing today.”