Education Ministry in $8.5 million software deal

Two-year project only phase one of automation process for school data

The Ministry of Education is to commission a system for automatic online acquisition of data from schools.

“The Schools Integrated Data project will also build the capability and infrastructure required to effectively store, analyse, use, and share this data,” says education minister Trevor Mallard.

“This will significantly improve our ability to develop evidence-based policy to improve education for students.”

Mallard says the project “has a huge potential to slash the form-filling faced by schools.”

There will be two stages to the project, and $8.5 million has been earmarked for stage one.

This will concentrate on collecting aggregate student data to help monitor schools’ overall performance.

A finer-grained analysis of individual student performance — using anonymous records and strict privacy guidelines — will be the focus of phase two. This will allow the ministry to gain more detailed information on “what works and what doesn’t” in improving student performance, says a spokesman for the minister.

The software is expected to be complete within two years.

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