AUSTRALIA’S education system is being criticised for its use of data from private and government organisations that it does not own, and which are widely criticised as being inaccurate and outdated.
Key points:The government has pledged to introduce a national system to measure school performance in 2016Education data should be used only by government agencies and organisations that have a “commercial” purposeEducation data can be collected on a case-by-case basis and only if the data is “required for commercial purposes”The new system will require Australian Government bodies to share data with other organisations, including the private sector, with a “compelling commercial purpose”, the National Education Standards Board said in a statement.
It said it would also create a new data standard to protect the privacy of children’s education and ensure the quality of educational data was maintained.
“The National Education Standard for Data Quality, which was drafted in partnership with the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, will require all Australian Government data systems to meet certain minimum standards to ensure they meet the high standards required by the Australian Data Quality Standard (ADQS),” it said.
“All relevant Australian Government agencies must adhere to the ADQS data quality standards and ensure that data is used only for commercial and scientific purposes.”
However, the ANU’s Institute for Data Science and Technology (IDST) has raised concerns about the use of school data by some Australian Government organisations, which are required to hold data on all children in their schools and their teachers, to produce “accurate” results.
The Institute said the Australian Education Data Service (AEDS) has “no statutory requirement to share information with AEDS”.
“However, AEDs are required by law to maintain an accurate and timely data source for their own purposes,” it said in an email.
“However the fact that this information has been collected from a private company does not give AEDH the right to release the information on behalf of AEDSA without the consent of the parent or guardian of the child.”AEDSA’s duty is to ensure that all data is maintained and is accurate.