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Chris Pearce

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer

26 October 2004 - 3 December 2007

Media Release of 20/10/2005

NO.033

‘CENSUSATSCHOOL’ AN OUTSTANDING EDUCATIONAL INITIATIVE

At today’s launch of CensusAtSchool at the Melbourne Museum, the Hon Chris Pearce MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, thanked students for wanting to be counted.

“The CensusAtSchool program, organised by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), will see students across the nation from Years 5 to 12 taking part in their own census. It comes at a time when the ABS is moving towards the next Census of Population and Housing, which will be conducted on the evening of 8 August 2006.

“CensusAtSchool is a program that is both free and voluntary”, Mr Pearce said. “Importantly, it has the support of private and public education authorities in all States and Territories, which means school students across all of Australia can build a statistical base about themselves and then tap into that base for uses that are educational and enjoyable.”

The CensusAtSchool will be completed in two phases, starting next year. The first phase, which will run from 30 January 2006 to 7 July 2006, is the questionnaire stage. The questionnaire will be filled out by students online, at the ABS CensusAtSchool website.

“Just like the nation-wide Census 2006, students will answer a set of questions about themselves. The questions are non-intrusive and deal with such things as the student’s height, what the student ate for breakfast, the student’s favourite music, and so on,” Mr Pearce said.

On 7 July 2006, the questionnaire stage will close and on 11 July 2006, the second phase known as the data usage phase, will begin.

“In this second phase the students, under the direction of their teachers, will tap into the statistical resource that has been built up through the questionnaire. Teachers will be assisted by lesson plans developed by the ABS.”

The CensusAtSchool is an excellent opportunity for students to use material that is relevant to them in learning areas, such as mathematics.

“It is also a way of showing them how important statistics are in a modern world. There is a mass of information students will be confronted with when they leave school. A basic training in how statistics work will help them to make informed decisions, something I have a strong commitment to,” Mr Pearce added.

Just as in the Census 2006, the privacy of students is guaranteed. No individual student will be able to be identified in the CensusAtSchool program.

Registration for CensusAtSchool is open now. Information about the program and how to register can be found on the ABS website at www.abs.gov.au.

20 October 2005
MELBOURNE

Contacts:
Andrew Conway (Mr Pearce’s Office) 03 9887 3890
Mark Uhlmann (ABS) 02 6252 5691; 0407 107 931