'Information should be freely avilable' -- UCD Prof
Published 02/03/2011 | 05:00
Economist Professor Colm Harmon is a keen supporter of openness when it comes to the publication of exam results.
The Director of the Geary Institute at UCD says: "The more information that we can glean about our schools the better."
One of the most common criticisms of school league tables is that they stigmatise schools in disadvantaged areas.
But Prof Harmon, who says he was one of the few students from Ballyfermot Senior College to go on to University, says: "As a general rule information should be freely available. If not, you are short-changing parents, and short-changing pupils.
"We should introduce a system similar to Australia, where test results are available on a website, My School.
"If there are great disparities in results and entrance to third-level education between different schools they should be highlighted.
"The information should be available to everybody, including researchers, and then the problems can by addressed by targeting more resources to those schools.
"If there are great divisions in terms of results, clearly many talented pupils are losing out on the opportunity to go to college. The universities should be forming partnerships with these schools, and introducing measures of positive discrimination to enable more pupils to go to university."