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Scrapping National Standards bad news for parents

The Government is irresponsibly and recklessly scrapping National Standards without having a detailed nationwide system of progression to replace it with, leaving parents in the dark about their children’s achievement, National Party Education Spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“Education Minister Chris Hipkins’ decision to no longer compel schools to report annually on National Standards to the Ministry of Education from 2018 is bad news for parents and could have negative and far-reaching consequences across the education sector,” Ms Kaye says.

“While Mr Hipkins is saying parents will still get reports, there is no clarity about what exactly will be required of teachers to report on. He’s even said some schools can keep using National Standards which just creates confusion for schools and parents.

“There are currently no nationwide tools that cover the whole of the curriculum to measure progression. This means questions remain around exactly what work will be involved for teachers in reporting progression.

“The decision flies in the face of Treasury advice that the Government should delay scrapping National Standards until they have a new system to replace it with, to prevent a gap in system-level information on how schools are performing.

“Without this information there will also be huge difficulty targeting funding to schools for students who need extra support to help lift their achievement.

“Mr Hipkins did not need to do this – he should have waited until he had figured out a replacement system. Instead, just as schools are breaking up for the year he has made a rash decision that will leave parents with questions about what information they will be able to get from their school on their child’s achievement next year.

“National has previously supported a shift to progression alongside National Standards information but we expected to take several years to progressively move to this.

“This Minister is consistently displaying a rash and ideological approach to our education system, and it is parents and students who will be worse off for it.”

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