It is not surprising that the media has continued to use the NAPLAN data to create league tables without taking into consideration different schools and different contexts. Comparing students from significantly different student populations and enrolment guidelines is flawed in that these factors would considerably influence the academic outcomes of the schools. For example, state schools are required to enrol students living within the catchment areas specified by Education Queensland, hence, these state schools must enrol the students and work through with them. Some schools, state, independent and Catholic, due to their school cultures and values or school ethos, enrol students who are of particular characteristic resulting in a diverse mix of students and hence educational outcomes.
In addition, the quality of a school is not predicated on NAPLAN results alone. The school culture, values and ethos, the opportunities on offer to the students, the quality teaching and learning programs and other areas of excellence, all form the foundation of the schooling experience for each child. Please beware of all these league tables, some of which I know contained significant errors and omissions. The most accurate and official data on schools is published by the Queensland Curriculum Assessment Authority (QCAA).
Furthermore, a year level cohort can fluctuate from year to year, depending upon the diversity of the students within that cohort, and some year levels can have a particularly high or low intake of students which can generate significant difference. These league tables might indicate the positions of schools in numerical order; however, the difference between these scores might be very small and insignificant as a means to separate these schools.
If you wish to discuss the college’s academic data, please contact our Deputy Heads of Campus, Mrs Thistlethwaite and Mr Mason who can help you to understand the data and most importantly, your child’s progress and improvement over time.
Mrs Tsae Wong