National Standards ended

The Government has taken the first steps to turn around a decline in educational achievement among Kiwi children, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

“Last week’s international report showed that since National Standards were introduced in 2010 reading levels of New Zealand children have dropped to their lowest level on record. It made sobering reading,” Mr Hipkins said.

“Today I am announcing that the Government has stopped National Standards and Ngā Whanaketanga Rumaki Māori and will instead focus on the progress and achievement of all children across the New Zealand Curriculum and Te Marautanga o Aotearoa.

“Schools and parents have lost confidence in National Standards. They were too narrow, neither national nor standard, and did not do what the previous National government claimed they would do and lift the bar.”

“Starting in 2018, schools will no longer be compelled to report annually on National Standards to the Ministry of Education. The process was little more than a compliance exercise and was a major distraction to schools. There are better ways to build a nationwide picture.”

“Parents will still receive reports at least twice a year on their child’s progress and achievement in maths, reading and writing as well as across the curriculum areas. But this reporting will focus on children’s progress, rather than measuring them against arbitrary National Standards.

“The reports, written in plain English, will relate to where their child is at, at a given point, and the progress shift that has occurred, rather than being judged against others.”

“Next year parents can be sure they’ll get quality information about their child’s progress in reading, writing and maths, and schools will be freed to report on the full breadth of the curriculum.

“The one thing National Standards did teach us is that if you force rushed change onto the education sector with little or no input or consultation, you get an inferior product and students will bear the brunt of that decision,” Mr Hipkins said.  

“We will take the next few months to work with the sector, students, parents, whānau and iwi to develop a new approach for understanding progress across the curricula that will meet their needs, and contribute to the education system supporting the success of all students. I will report back to Cabinet by September 2018.” 

The new approach will strengthen partnerships between home, school and kura.

Mr Hipkins said the Government has made sure that going into 2018 schools and parents will be clear about what to expect. 

“The Ministry of Education is today issuing good practice guidance to schools, kura, and Kāhui Ako to give them more flexibility in the assessment tools they use in their planning, teaching and reporting practices.”

More information on the change is available at:  http://www.education.govt.nz/national-standards


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