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Vic minister says non-Government schools "lack accountability"

Private and Catholic school groups have reportedly expressed surprise at comments from Victorian Education Minister Lynne Kosky suggesting the state's non-government schools are not accountable enough to parents or taxpayers and should be subject to freedom of information laws.

The Weekend Australian reported that Ms Kosky said non-government schools are lagging behind their publicly run counterparts and it was time for change.

"I don't believe the accountability requirements we have in place with the non-government sector are satisfactory at the moment," Ms Kosky told reporters.

She said non-government schools could be subjected to freedom of information laws and an ombudsman could be set up to deal independently with parent's complaints.

"We've got to look at how we do make sure we have proper information that's available to parents in a very timely way, and at their request not at the school's preparedness," she said.

Greater access to information, including results of numeracy and literacy tests, would help parents to choose schools and to assess their children's performance, she said.

Ms Kosky said non-government schools also need to be made more accountable to taxpayers.

"The non-government school sector receives about seven per cent of their funding from public funds - it's appropriate that they are accountable for those funds," she said.

They say they have been consulting closely with the Education Department on accountability as part of a review that will soon be completed.

Non-govt schools 'lack accountability' (The Weekend Australian 6/3/04)

Private schools lack accountability: Kosky (The Age 5/3/04)
Kosky in row on private school checks (The Age 5/3/04)
Catholic Education Commission Victoria

8 Mar 2004