Students are more than just marketing tools

There is enough pressure on VCE students at this time of the year without them being used as marketing tools by theirschools.
Nanjing Night Net

It is unfair on these students that during one of the most stressful times in their young lives their ATAR exam results may beused by their schools to gain a marketing edge.

Now schools are being put on notice …those that leak ATAR results will be slugged with tough new penalties.

The new penalties follow a series of breaches over top secret VCE results.

School principals have been put on notice that if they break the rules they will be barred from accessing ATAR results ahead of students for up to five years.

Thebreach will also be reported to the Australian Privacy Commissioner.

Victoria is the only state that releases ATARs to school career counsellors a day before they are distributed to students, allowing schools to plan support for those who may not have done as well as they hoped and those who received better than expected results.

Support,yes. Gaining a marketing advantage,no.

These students are young, impressionable people who don’t deserve to be placed under any more pressure from their schools, which are supposed to be there to nurture them, teach them and guide them into the next phase oftheir lives.

These students are not a number and they are not a tool to be used by some greedy schools looking for the upper hand when it comes to attracting funding or prospective future students.

But by using the early release of ATAR results to promote their schools they are breaching an embargo and privacy laws.

The privacy of students and their families should be first and foremost at the minds of schools, not the fact that better ATAR scores could result in improved marketing.

It is extraordinary some lengths schools will go for that competitive edge. But what is more extraordinary is the total disregard for students during a stressful time in their lives.

While VTAC has introduced the penalty for breaches, a proposal to publicly name and shame schools which break the law has been dropped.

Maybe this could be put back on the table if schools continue to flout the rules.

Exams for the most popular VCE subjects kick off this week, with more than 43,000 students to sit the English exam today.Results will be released onDecember 12.

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.