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New programme beats feel-good school reports

Bill English National Education Spokesman

9 June 2004

New programme beats feel-good school reports

Bland, feel-good school reports will soon be a thing of the past, says National MP Bill English.

Commenting today on the launch of the Asttle programme, a new assessment tool for schools, Mr English said too many primary school reports say nice things rather than provide useful information about what a child needs to do better.

"As well as the benefits for schools, Asttle can provide all the information a parent might want to help their child. Parents and children will be able to take individualised tests at home, or access, in real time, a child's progress at school.

"Relentlessly positive school reports hide problems and weaknesses.

"If parents don't know what skills their child needs to learn, then how can they help?"

Mr English says the programme is another step along the way to breaking down the traditional view in schools that information about education is dangerous.

"Teachers used to be worried that information would be used to criticise them.

"But attitudes are shifting as parents and teachers learn that more information means better learning.

"I support government funding for the development of this tool, and the professional development for teachers to use it to increase a student's achievement."


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