Education Minister Anne Tolley says school principals can oppose the Government's national standards in reading, writing and maths at this year's general election.
But, in the meantime, she says schools must continue implementing the standards.
More than 700 primary school principals rejected the standards at a conference of the Principals Federation on Saturday.
The minister says the standards were part of the platform that helped the National Party win the last general election.
Federation president Peter Simpson hopes the Government will be swayed by the weight of professional opinion.