Search This Blog

Thursday, September 24, 2009

NSW Board of Studies fails FOI test

The NSW Ombudsman's report of an investigation into the Board of Studies and scaled exam results sounds interesting, but given confidentiality limitations on the Ombudsman the report itself will only come into the public domain if the complainant or the Sydney Morning Herald posts the text somewhere.The (ex) student who pushed the issue, Hugh Parsonage, started this four years ago. The Ombudsman found the Office of the Board of Studies was wrong in rejecting his Freedom of Information application, saying its handling of the case ''from beginning to end, is of serious concern''.


  1. The full report is definitely worth a read.

    The complainant indicated to us that he is happy for the report to be distributed - you can find a link on our website:

    James King

  2. James, Thanks. I'm reading as we "speak"

  3. We are following up - re : this report. Have a slightly different situation relating to the Board of Studies not regulating the HSC assessments adequately. A student has no recourse if the school has unjust processes in place for conducting the HSC assessment appeals - just as long as they can demostrate they have a process!
    Can you believe that!

    This is despite the BOS stated responsibility in their website - amongst other things that BOS is "responsible for regulating the conduct of examinations & assessments, & the recording of students' achievements in them...".

    Yet when pushed the BOS say it delegates the conduct of the HSC assessment programs to schools for HSC assessment. Questions - who keeps the school honest? Would you delegate a poacher to be the game-keeper? There is no checks and balances.

    Appreciate any thoughts of where to go from here.

  4. Eileen,
    Transparency courtesy of a long and protracted FOI battle is at least a start.Perhaps there should be some audits of school performance in assessment.

  5. Eileen

    I was interested in your comments as I made a similar complaint to the BOS last year when the school my daughter attended allowed students to sit the same assessment task several days after they were absent for the task. Being a selective school, some students quickly realised that they could have a headache etc on the day, get a doctor's certificate and then check out the school chat lines for info. on the task, which they completed after a couple of days study.
    The BOS sent a long letter basically saying they didn't care as long as the school had a policy. It was no surprise to many when certain students with high school rankings did not do as well as expected.