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Survey of parents shows greater transparency needed

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for Social Inclusion. Deputy Prime Minister 26 November, 2008

Media Release

Survey of Parents Shows Greater Transparency Needed

A national telephone survey of parents was conducted in October 2008, seeking information about parents’

attitudes to the provision of information about individual schools. Responses were received from 1976


A high proportion of parents surveyed (83 per cent) thought that information about individual schools should

be publicly available. Almost all (97 per cent) thought that this type of information should be available to them

as parents of a school-aged child.

Overwhelmingly, parents surveyed nominated the internet as the preferred way of accessing information

about schools (over paper methods such as school brochures or official reports).

When asked what types of information they would regard as important (from a list of 13 suggested types), the

percentage of parents rating an information-type as fairly important or very important (for selected types)


z 92 per cent for information about the school’s approach to teaching literacy and numeracy;

z 88 per cent for information about how the school communicates with parents about their child;

z 72 per cent for information about the school’s performance in national testing, and other student

outcomes; z 64 per cent for information about how much funding is received by the school and how it is spent;

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z 63 per cent for information comparing the performance of the school to the performance of other

schools with similar student populations.

When asked why they thought the availability of individual school information might be regarded as

important (from a list of five suggested types), the percentage of parents rating a reason as fairly important or

very important was:

z 92 per cent in order to identify schools needing extra help;

z 90 per cent so parents can make informed choices about which school their child should attend;

z 89 per cent so schools can monitor their own performance;

z 84 per cent so the government / and parents and the community know what is happening in schools.

What this shows is that parents want information about how their own children are going, both at home and

at school and they understand the importance of information for producing systematic school improvement.

The Rudd Labor Government is committed to delivering greater transparency so we can ensure every

Australian child is receiving a world class education.

To access a copy of the full survey report, please see: The Parents’ Attitudes to Schooling survey report

Media Contact:

Deputy Prime Minister's Press Office: 02 6277 7758

Non-media queries: 1300 363 079

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