Dear Mr McAlpine
Thank you for your letter of 15 March 2010 setting out the NSW Secondary Principals’ Council’s views on the My School website and recommendations for its further development. I appreciated the clarity with which you set out your Council’s position and your offer to provide constructive advice on ways in which the site might be developed. The recent meeting between Robert Randall (General Manager, Curriculum) and Dave Wasson (A/General Manager, Reporting) from ACARA with members of your Executive was important in increasing our understanding of the concerns of the NSW SPC and, I believe, a first step in constructive dialogue.
ACARA has received considerable feedback on the My School website from many individuals and organisations. Some of this feedback, including that received from the NSW SPC, is very useful and will be considered as we seek to build on the current My School website. ACARA’s Index of Community Socio-Educational Advantage (ICSEA) Expert Panel will consider your comments on ICSEA.
You will know that the content of what became the My School website was established by the Ministerial Council on Education, Employment, Training and Youth Affairs (MCEETYA) council of education ministers prior to the establishment of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) on 29 May 2009. ACARA’s role was to develop the detailed form of the website for approval by Ministerial Council on Education, Early Childhood Development and Youth Affairs (MCEECDYA) before the launch of the website on 28 January 2010.
I distinguish these roles and responsibilities because some of your Council’s suggestions relate to decisions of Ministers and some to ACARA’s work and its recommendations to Ministers. In the attachment, I respond to your commentary and suggestions using the structure of your paper.
Dr Peter Hill and I would be happy to meet with you and members of your Council to discuss these matters.
Professor Barry McGaw AO PhD
Download full response which includes responses to suggestions.