National’s education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says Labour’s dismantling of National Standards without replacing it with a system of standardised reporting shows “a complete disregard for parents and the needs of children”. She has launched a petition to improve the quality of school and parental reporting.

Kaye says National Standards helped keep schools accountable for lifting achievement.

“In scrapping National Standards without having a replacement, the Government changed the National Administration Guidelines to remove the requirement for schools to report achievement information to the Ministry of Education.

“This means that schools can use any system they choose for reporting to parents and, while there are international reports to compare to, there will be no nationwide picture of achievement.

“Scrapping National Standards without a replacement system means that parents will be left in the dark about where their child is at in their learning and children will have at least a year’s gap in their achievement records.”

However, New Zealand Principals’ Federation president Whetu Comick says schools don’t need a replacement system.

“We do not need to replace National Standards.  Teachers are professionals and have been assessing children’s progress for decades – well before 2008.

“Schools will decide with their communities, what kind of learning progress measures they will use to inform their parents of their children’s learning progress.”

“The Minister, together with the Ministry and the sector will establish what sort of national monitoring tool they will develop to measure the learning progress of our young people across the sector.”

Kaye’s petition also calls for investment in online tools to ensure parents and teachers can have confidence in the data that’s being reported, but also have greater frequency of reporting in the future.

“We are confident that thousands of New Zealanders will come on board to restore the basic concept that parents have the right to frequent and reliable school reports.”

The petition can be accessed here.

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