Schools can use National Standards
Schools that still want to use National Standards to report a child’s progress to parents can continue to do so – despite the Government saying they will scrap them.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins has confirmed National Standards would no longer exist, but any school that wanted to use them as a tool to report progress would not be forced to stop doing so.
‘‘We’re going to require schools to report child progress against the curriculum. What tools they use to do that is up to them.
‘‘One of the criticisms of National Standards is that they’re not a good progress measure. Some schools have already developed work-arounds to actually report progress against National Standards,’’ he said.
‘‘I don’t want to stop them using a system they’ve already got in place if it’s measuring progress.’’
Hipkins comments have surprised National’s education spokeswoman Nikki Kaye who says the Labour Party ‘‘stated very publicly for a long time that the policy was to scrap them and now they’re saying some schools can keep them’’.
‘‘That’s confusing for parents and schools.’’
Given this is one of the ‘‘largest changes in the education system’’ in some time, Kaye says schools and parents need ‘‘clarity’’ around what the new system will be.
Labour campaigned hard on scrapping National Standards in the lead-up to the September elec- tion on the basis they were neither ‘‘national nor standard’’.
‘‘They’ve basically become a compliance, form-filling exercise, that’s resulted in an enormous increase in teacher workload without any real increase in student achievement, so we think we can ease that,’’ Hipkins said in July.
‘‘The very best thing that parents can do if they want to know how their kids are doing is have a conversation with their kids’ teachers.’’
Yesterday, Hipkins said there would no longer be a national moderation of National Standards, which he said research had shown to not be ‘‘particularly reliable’’.
But he said what schools do with National Standards was ‘‘entirely up to them’’ and the Government wasn’t going to ‘‘force them to stop doing what they’ve been doing’’. He expected ‘‘very few’’ schools would continue to use National Standards for reporting.
‘‘We’re developing a much higher trust model that says to schools they can make their own choices about what tools they use to report child progress to parents.’’
He rejected the idea that two systems being available for schools would complicate things for teachers, parents and students.
‘‘It’s not two different systems because the requirement from us is going to be more broad.
‘‘It’s going to be about reporting progress against the whole curriculum and what tools schools use to do that will be entirely up to them.’’