Pearson_DesMELBOURNE, Dec 12 - Only one in 10 Victorian public school students uses the $180 million Ultranet system, touted by the former state Labor government as an online teaching, learning and assessment system for all government schools.

Auditor-General Des Pearson, pictured, said Ultranet, which has been the subject of three business cases and two tender processes, is now conservatively estimated to be almost 300 per cent over budget.



"Some six years since its announcement as a government priority, the Ultranet has not delivered any of the main objectives that were expected when the project was funded," he said in a report tabled in parliament on Wednesday.

The Ultranet IT system was designed to allow students and teachers to participate in online learning and collaborate with other schools, as well as giving parents access information to keep them updated on their child's learning.

The then Labor government said in November 2006 the Ultranet system would cost $60.5 million.

Pearson said a conservative estimate of the actual costs by June next year would be $180 million, or close to 300 per cent above the initial budget.

Only one in 10 students and little over one quarter of teachers had used Ultranet, he said.

That is just 4.2 per cent of the 1.5 million Ultranet users projected in both the 2007 and 2009 business cases.

"Use of Ultranet is well below expectations, with only 10 per cent of students and 27 per cent of teachers logging into the system," Pearson said.

He said teachers' actual usage rate may be even lower given some schools have staff regularly log in so it is centrally recorded, even if they don't actually use the Ultranet.

Declining usage and murky advice from the Department of Education to schools about whether they can opt out of the system means Ultranet's viability is under serious threat, he said.

AAP