The Ministry of Education says advice a school principal says he received from one of its staff about dodging national standards regulations is incorrect.
Schools must set student achievement targets using the national standards in reading, writing and maths.
Radio New Zealand News last week reported a principal's claim that a ministry staff member said his school could meet that requirement by just saying it is working toward using the standards.
The Ministry says that advice is not correct - schools must have targets in relation to the standards.
However, other principals also allege ministry staff have indicated to them other ways of making their documents comply.