Despite the Federation's opposition, the Department has today sent new advice and material to Principals and School Self Evaluation Committees regarding the format and content of the Annual School Report for the 2005 school year.
Schools have been given the option to choose between two formats. The new format contains the Federal Government's objectionable reporting provisions and the State Government's demand for test data to be compared with statewide averages and like school groups. That format should be rejected.
Federation's advice is for schools to take up their option and continue to use the 2004 format. Executive is meeting on 1 November and further advice will be sent to schools.
This issue has already been before the Industrial Relations Commission (IRC) on seven occasions under a dispute application filed by the Federation.
The DET material advises that the Principal, with the School Self Evaluation Committee, should determine which of the two formats of the annual school report is most appropriate for their situation. The choice is between the format used by all schools in 2004 and a new format.
The requirements of the new format give the School Self Evaluation Committee no discretion. Once a committee opts to use the new format, then all of the data that is within the new format must be included in the published report. If a school opts to use the new format, the professional judgment that presently exists is effectively withdrawn.
The new format does not meet the protocols negotiated between the Federation and the Department. Those protocols were put in place in 1997 to protect students and school communities.
The Federation does not believe that the use of the new format is in the interests of public education and accordingly advises that School Self Evaluation Committees elect to use the format that they used in 2004.