Nervous wait for My School data

PRINCIPALS nervous about the new information about to be shared on the My Schools website say they will not find out until tomorrow what detail will be revealed about their schools.

Potentially sensitive financial information will be made public on the Federal Government’s site after a fight from private schools that claimed the detail was complex and could be misleading.

After negotiations with the government, Sunshine Coast private school principals say they do not have reservations about the new information launch, which will publish the financial books of more than 10,000 schools nationwide.

Sunshine Coast Immanuel Lutheran College principal David Bliss said he would not be shown the specific detail that will be made public about his school until tomorrow morning.

“It should be expected to reveal that independent schools, including Immanuel, must battle tenaciously to control the cost of tuition fees, given the greatly inequitable distribution of taxpayer funded grants to schools in different sectors,” Mr Bliss said. “I certainly hope that the data is presented equitably and justly.”

The same sentiment is shared by most other private school principals.

The My School website was meant to go live with the new information at the start of December. The relaunch was postponed until Friday this week because of concerns from private schools that their financial information wouldn’t be accurately presented.

Sunshine Coast Grammar principal Nigel Fairbairn said he hoped the concerns had been ironed out.

Mr Fairbairn said he did not want to comment on specifics of the school’s financial information until he was shown tomorrow what details would be published.

Australian Council of State School Organisations president Peter Garrigan applauded the My School relaunch.

He said it was a positive move to provide greater school transparency.

Education Minister Peter Garrett said it was an important milestone for the My School website to publish financials of more than a thousand Australian schools.

The My School website ( profiles almost 10,000 schools nationwide.

The website is managed by the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

The website allows and encourages comparisons with schools that are statistically similar in terms of a range of factors known to affect test performance.

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