EOC Seeks Judicial Review of SSPA System
The Equal Opportunities Commission (EOC) has issued legal proceedings in the High Court on 14 July 2000 for a judicial review of the Secondary School Places Allocation (SSPA) System. The EOC believes that a court decision as to the lawfulness of the system should be sought as soon as possible in order to clarify the position and to create certainty for all parties.
"We are doing this because it is a matter of public importance, and for the interests of the individual boys and girls who may be adversely affected by the allocation system", said Ms. Anna WU, Chairperson of the EOC. "Our students deserve an education system that is modern, fair, transparent and treats boys and girls on a level playing field".
The EOC launched a formal investigation into the SSPA system two years ago. In August 1999, the EOC published the following findings :
- boys and girls in the same school are treated separately in the scaling process, where gender curves are used to produce the final scores in the placement process ;
- boys and girls are put into two separate rank orders in the banding process, resulting in different band cutting scores for each sex ; and
- co-educational schools are required to admit a fixed proportion of boys and girls.
The Report recommended that the Government, the Director of Education and the Education Commission should review the SSPA system and remove the discriminatory elements.
On 19 April 2000, the Director of Education responded to the EOC's findings and said there were good reasons for keeping the system the way it was.
Although the Academic Aptitude Test (AAT) has now been abolished, the AAT results for the past three years will be used for allocation purposes. Gender scaling, separate queues for boys and girls and fixed quotas are to remain.
Enquiry: EOC Hotline 25118211