My School Data

Lauren Johnson made this Freedom of Information request to Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

The request was partially successful.

From: Lauren Johnson

Delivered

Dear Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority,

Please treat this request for access under administrative arrangements if possible, or if not, please deal with it as a formal request under the Freedom of Information Act.

I am requesting access to records used to populate the My School website. More specifically, documents that contain the latest NAPLAN, ICSEA and finance data for each of the schools contained in the database.

Yours faithfully,
Lauren Johnson

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From: info@acara.edu.au
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

Dear Lauren,

 

Thank you for your email.

 

To request data from ACARA, please send an email to
[1][email address]. Please fully outline the data you require and
the purpose for which you require it.

 

For more information regarding data request process, visit the [2]ACARA
website.

 

Kind regards,

ACARA info

 

 

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Mark R. Diamond left an annotation ()

You will not obtain the data you want from ACARA under either FOI or under administrative arrangements. I know. See, Diamond and Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [2013] AICmr 57 (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/A... ) and Diamond and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [2014] AATA 707 (http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/A... )

The other thing that needs highlighting is that, despite appearances, what is being proposed by ACARA is not to make the data available to you under administrative arrangements (at least not within any normal meaning of those words).

What ACARA ought to have said is (i) that they will not provide you with access under administrative arrangements, (ii) that they will process your FOI request if you insist but that it will almost certainly fail, and (iii) that you can apply for access to the NAPLAN data under a highly restrictive scheme known as the "data access protocol"

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From: Peter Matheson
Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority

Dear Lauren

Thanks for your emails. My name is Peter Matheson, Board Secretary, Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA). ACARA is generally supportive of use of its data for research purposes. ACARA’s mission is to improve the learning of all young Australians through world-class school curriculum, assessment and reporting.

In the email trail below, I have included both your emails to ACARA of 6 March 2017 and ACARA’s first response, also sent 6 March 2017. In your first email to ACARA, you included the words “Freedom of Information request - My School Data” in the subject line. I am treating your request as request under the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) (FOI Act). Whilst ACARA can process your request under the FOI Act, the outcome is unlikely to be favourable to you (for reasons discussed further below).

Australian Schools List
I advise that ACARA publishes a list of schools at (http://asl.acara.edu.au/). This list will partially satisfy your request. The published data fields on this website comprise: school name, city, state, postcode, type and sector. I note that the data on the Australian schools list can be downloaded in different formats.

ACARA’s data access protocols
1. For the data fields that ACARA holds, ACARA provides access to the data requested by third parties under the Data Access Protocols – 2015 revision. These Protocols have been endorsed by the Education Council (comprising Australia’s nine education ministers). ACARA is bound to follow the directions of the Education Council: s.7(1) of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority Act 2008 (Cth (ACARA Act).
2. Under the Protocols, different considerations apply, depending on whether or not each data field is published.
3. The data that you are requesting is published – “the 2015 NAPLAN results data for each of the schools contained in the My School database”.
4. I advise that clauses 31 and 36 of the Protocols are relevant to your request. For published data, applications are treated on a case by case basis. ACARA has a data access process at (http://www.acara.edu.au/contact-us/acara....
5. I note that ACARA was successful in an FOI matter before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Mark R Diamond and Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority [2014] AATA 707. The document in that case was the My School database. In my view, the arguments that were accepted by the Tribunal in that case are also applicable in relation to your request. Strong arguments can be made that to provide you with published data in contravention of the Protocols would cause ACARA to breach s.7(1) of the ACARA Act, which would, or could reasonably be expected to, have a substantial adverse effect on the proper and efficient conduct of the operations of an agency (one of the conditional exemptions upheld by the Tribunal in the Diamond matter).

In light of the above, unless I hear from you to the contrary, I am treating your Freedom of Information request as being withdrawn. I would be happy to answer your queries regarding ACARA’s data access process, noting that the data on the Australian Schools List is unlikely to fully satisfy your request.

Kind regards
Peter

Peter Matheson
Board Secretary
Office of the CEO

Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Level 13 | Tower B | Centennial Plaza | 280 Elizabeth Street | Sydney | NSW 2000
phone: 02 8098 3116 //[mobile number]


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From: Lauren Johnson

Delivered

Dear Peter Matheson,

Thank you for the information. I have submitted a request as part of the data access protocols.

Yours sincerely,

Lauren Johnson

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Things to do with this request

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