My School site crashes one hour after launch

The Federal Government's My School website has been brought to its knees by users swarming to the site an hour after its launch.

The backend search component of the site is said to have been overwhelmed at around 2.30am. Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA) chair, Barry McGaw, said the problem was exacerbated as traffic surged at around 6am.

"There were initial problems with loading pages...the situation is now improving and we are working to ensure this continues throughout the day," McGaw said.

"Information is being provided to advise users to come back later if they experience problems created by the excessive demand."

The controversial website publishes and compares the performance of 10,000 school based on facts such as the number of staff and students, the socio-economic status of the students, school attendance rates and year 12 attainment rates.

The performance of years three, five, seven and nine students in the National Assessment Program Literacy and Numeracy tests are also available for school comparisons.

Education Minister, Julia Gillard, has been forced to defend the initiative in the face of union concerns the website could result in schools ranked in league tables, leading to low socio-economic schools being stigmatised.

Gillard told ABC NewsRadio the site is designed to take 1.75 million hits a day or 2350 hits a second.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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