14 Sep 2011

Labour would abandon national standards

9:57 pm on 14 September 2011

The Government's controversial national standards would be abandoned by Labour under new election policy the party announced on Wednesday.

Labour has released part of its education policy, for lifting achievement in primary schools.

The National Government introduced the requirement for schools to report against national standards in reading, writing and mathematics following the 2008 election.

Labour's education spokesperson Sue Moroney says the standards have been a huge distraction for schools and parents.

She says the one size fits all approach to primary education is dividing school communities and under Labour, schools would no longer be required to implement them.

Ms Moroney says Labour would use the national curriculum to assess children's progress and schools would have to provide regular updates.

She says there are several problems with the standards, not least of all that they are not moderated, and differ from school to school.

Education Minister Anne Tolley says the policy is a light version of the national standards that National implemented three years ago, and shows Labour is running scared of the unions.

She says Labour is content to go backwards and let one in five children keep failing in school.