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Minister needs to front up on National Standards

14 November 2017

Minister needs to front up on National Standards

Education Minister Chris Hipkins is creating confusion yet again about the future of the education system by failing to provide any detail on the replacement of National Standards, says National Party Education Spokesperson Nikki Kaye.

“In the last couple of weeks the Minister has said that National Standards will be gone very quickly, however today in Question Time he admitted he is still yet to sign off the timeline,” Ms Kaye says.

“Parents need to know how their kids are doing at school and National Standards are a key part of that.

“So it is irresponsible of the Minister to state that National Standards will be gone very quickly without providing a detailed proposal of what it will be replaced with. You’d think that after nine years in opposition they would have an idea about what a replacement might look like.

“The Minister has created further confusion today by stating that no school will be forced to scrap National Standards, which leads us to believe he is advocating for multiple systems of reporting. This is at odds with his numerous public statements about scrapping National Standards entirely.

“Having multiple reporting systems could have consequences for getting a consistent nationwide picture of achievement. If this is the case, the Minister needs to answer a number of questions on what this means for parents and how schools will choose their preferred system of reporting.

“Scrapping or changing National Standards is one of the most significant education decisions to be made in several years. The education sector and parents deserve to know the timeline, the process of engagement and have iron-cast guarantees around the replacement system and reporting to parents.

“National campaigned on improving National Standards to move to a system of progression which would have included a significant investment to support the education sector. A large decision like scrapping or changing National Standards would ideally involve greater cross-party agreement.

“It is disappointing that the Minister is yet to front up with a detailed statement on this issue. Instead we are being drip-fed bits of inconsistent information – parents and schools deserve better than this.”

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