Principal and teacher groups are shunning the launch of what the Government has called the biggest thing in education in 20 years - national standards.
From next year, all primary school children will be tested against new standards set by the Government.
In a sign of the importance the Government is placing on the policy, Prime Minister John Key is to issue the final details on Friday morning.
Radio New Zealand's education correspondent says it's been described to her as the Government finally coming out of the closet.
The Principals Federation says attending the launch would be giving tacit support to a policy that many regard as being educationally unsound.
President Ernie Buutveld says the sector is unhappy and apprehensive.
NZEI president Frances Nelson says she has a longstanding prior engagement - at a lamb and calf day.