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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2001 Week 6 Hansard (14 June) . . Page.. 1773 ..

MR RUGENDYKE (5.18): Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, I wonder why the motion is so complex and convoluted. I agree with part (2) of the motion. In fact, my report that Mr Berry refers to-Educated Views: Feedback from Government School Communities in the Electorate of Ginninderra-outlines my opposition to league tables. However, the three parts of the motion seem to be a bit back to front. Part (3) appears to create the capacity to generate league tables, or information that can be interpreted as league tables, and part (1) deals with the capacity to report. So the motion would probably make more sense if part (3) were read first, and then parts (2) and (1).

The government has not addressed a concern that I have about part (3) of the motion. The government has told us that league tables cannot be made from information that is collected. But the freedom of information aspect has not been addressed. My concern would be that a smart journalist could use the Freedom of Information Act to get enough information to work out a ranking of schools and capacity for-

Mr Stefaniak: It is a bit hard if that is cabinet-in-confidence, Dave.

Mr Moore: Under freedom of information, cabinet-in-confidence material is not available.

Mr Berry: What about the stuff at the schools?

MR TEMPORARY DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Mr Rugendyke has the call.

MR RUGENDYKE: Thank you. I bring this up because it is quite easy to find information on the Internet. I typed in the words "league tables" and then "London" and it took 30 seconds for all the schools in London to be displayed. The information indicated that this school is better than that school, that this school is ranked here and that school is ranked there. I do not think that is the sort of thing we want to happen in our school system. So I am cautious about league tables, and I am cautious about the capacity for them to be generated by whatever means.

We are told that 76 per cent of people like the idea of being given this sort of information. Who would not say that they like the idea of being given plenty of information? But, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, let me put it to you that the people who are really concerned about the education of their children are the people who go to parent-teacher nights, P&C meetings and information sessions to find out how their student child is performing at school. Most people, I would submit, like to know how their children are performing but are not particularly interested in how they are being taught compared to schools on the other side of town or other schools in the area.

Mr Moore: The evidence is that 76 per cent want that.

Mr Stefaniak: But we are not even giving them that, though. We are just saying where their school is in terms of the system average.

MR RUGENDYKE: My point, Mr Temporary Deputy Speaker, is that parents who are concerned about the education of their children are able to find out how their child is going without the need for a ranking system of how they are performing within the school and between schools.

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