Everyone who wasn’t up at five this morning busily checking out Apple’s latest gadget must have been busily looking up their school on the Government’s newly launched My School website. At least that’s what Julia Gillard would have us believe, citing the website’s “huge demand” as the reason it crashed at 5:00AM this morning.
Those who did manage to get onto My School this morning were no doubt frantically comparing apples to oranges in an effort to check which Australian schools are the tastiest.
With the aid of some crude mathematics that would no doubt make our high school maths teachers cringe, Crikey pulled together a five minute league table of the Crikey team’s schools.
Ignoring those pesky sensitivities about social and economic background, we went straight for the stats that every parent really wants to know (and what Julia Gillard assures us cannot be gleaned from the database): how does my child’s school compare to every other school in Australia?
We threw the following schools into the mix:
- Melbourne High (graduate: journalist Andrew Crook. Alumni include Jon Faine, Graham Kennedy, Max Gillies, Alan Stockdale and Gareth Evans.)
My School website description of Melbourne High (penned by Melbourne High) says: Melbourne High School is an academic select entry school for 1,360 Year 9 to12 boys with approximately 340 at each year level. Admission is via statewide academic entry test and our students come from every suburb in the Melbourne metropolitan area and from a very diverse range of socio-economic and cultural backgrounds.
- Star of the Sea College (graduate: Crikey editor Sophie Black. Alumni include Rachel Griffiths, Germaine Greer and Holly Valance.)
Star of the Sea Says: Star of the Sea is a Catholic secondary girl’s school with an enrolment of approximately 1100 students. Founded by the Presentation Sisters in 1883, the College is situated in the bayside area of Brighton. Our rich Presentation heritage fosters in students a strong sense of justice and compassion. Girls are urged to reach their full creative potential and to aim for excellence in all they undertake.
- Melbourne Girls College (graduate: journalist Amber Jamieson. Alumni include Clare Oliver and, according to our resident expert, “a variety of wannabe reality TV stars, adult models, radio presenters and actresses, all of them crap.”)
Melbourne Girls College Says: Melbourne Girls’ College (MGC) was established in 1994. It is situated in the suburb of Richmond, on a site adjacent to the Yarra River. The College is committed to environmentally sustainable practices in all of its endeavours. The College has a population of approximately 1200 students from culturally and geographically diverse backgrounds. It provides enrolment opportunities for girls from the local area, from across Melbourne and from overseas.
Chevalier College says: Chevalier College is a congregational school of the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart (MSC). In the spirit of the MSCs, the mission of Chevalier College is to provide excellence in Catholic education in an environment that encourages both staff and students to deepen their faith in a loving God and reach their full potential as joyful, intelligent, compassionate and socially conscious people.
- Wodonga’s Catholic College: (graduate: Crikey contributor Elly Keating. Alumni include footballing greats Fraser Gehrig and Ben McEvoy.)
Catholic College says: Catholic College, Wodonga, is a Spirited, innovative school of approximately 1100 students with excellent learning facilities. Attentive to the demands of 21st Century learning, we build upon rich traditions. We are a highly relational environment with six learning communities divided into eight vertical Years 7-12 learning mentor groups where two teachers guide improvement in individual learning.
- MacCleod College (graduate: website editor Ruth Brown. Alumni includes Louis Nowra.)
MacCleod College says: Macleod College is a large vibrant school with a strong academic record and an impressive range of extracurricular activities.Macleod’s distinguished academic results and strong music program make it the secondary school of choice for students from over 30 primary schools, and our primary students experience an exceptional range of specialist programs.
Both First Dog’s training school and Astronaut academy have since closed down due to poor attendance.
To crunch the numbers for our school off, Crikey pulled up the year seven and year nine NAPLAN results for our schools, added these up across the five categories (reading, grammar and punctuation, writing, spelling and numeracy) and then compared these to both each other and the national average.
The results, we have to say, were somewhat predictable. Here’s the year nine table:
The only selective school on the Crikey League Table (Melbourne High School) scored the highest, and with that quick sample Crikey has proved fairly convincingly that the Grattan Institute’s fears of people developing “simplistic and damaging league tables” is completely well founded.
Crikey website editor, Ruth Brown, whose school, Macleod College, scored lowest on the Crikey League Table, has reportedly been sobbing into her coffee ever since the table was released.