Who would have thought a Labor Government would introduce Big-Brother-like ID numbers for school students! With the rationale that parents could “be able to track the records of a child’s schooling” even if they move schools.

I have been/am a teacher. Parents have numerous ways to track their child’s progress – chief among them talking to their children, meeting with teachers, checking homework, reviewing periodic progress reports, attending extra-curricular events, knowing their children’s friends and their families. The only thing “an individual identity number” enables is computerised reporting, tracking, and linking of data – students, schools, teachers … past, present, and future.

Labor needs to clarify precisely what problem “an individual identity number” is addressing that is not addressed fully by other means. And Labor’s policy on privacy, use, and security of such numbers. Frankly, if a parents, teachers, or schools need numbers to track student performance, then there is something seriously wrong with our education enterprise that mere identity numbers won’t fix.

Judy Bamberger,
CLA member, O’Connor ACT

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