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National wants Plain English reporting in schools

Don Brash
National Party Leader

31 August 2005

National wants 'Plain English' reporting in schools

National Party Leader Don Brash today announced that National will introduce 'Plain English Reporting' in schools so that parents know how well their children are doing in the classroom and can get help if necessary.

''Parents have the right to know if their child is reading, writing and using numbers at the expected standard or if they are falling behind. But too often they are served up with politically correct reports that give them no clear idea of their child's progress," says Dr Brash.

"Schools already use a range of testing regimes to assess student performance but many parents don't see the results of any of that testing until their child sits NCEA, by which time it may be too late.

"National will work with schools to set the national standards using benchmarks in existing tests. There is no need for more tests, just better reporting of the information to parents.

"We will require all schools to provide parents with reports of their child's progress against these standards and the performance of their school relative to similar schools.

"We will also require the Ministry of Education to make comparative school-wide performance information available to parents, rather than just to school principals.

"National believes it is wrong that extensive information collected about school performance is kept secret from parents.

"National will continue this emphasis on common-sense reporting through to NCEA level by introducing summary subject grades for NCEA results.

"Parents, employers and even students have difficulty interpreting NCEA results and National wants to make it easier for them.

"Raising literacy and numeracy standards is a top priority for National. We believe that an education system where failure, and problems that could lead to failure, are reported is vital to achieving high standards in education," says Dr Brash.

ENDS

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