15 Sep 2011

National standards opponents welcome Labour policy

6:40 am on 15 September 2011

Opponents of the national standards in reading, writing and maths have welcomed the Labour Party's announcement that it would ditch the standards if it formed the next Government.

Labour says it wants schools to report against the eight levels of the curriculum rather than against the standards.

Opponents of the standards say the curriculum levels are better understood and more accurate than the standards.

Principals Federation president Peter Simpson says the policy puts the curriculum it its rightful place, at the centre of teaching and learning.

Mr Simpson says schools are finding it hard to link the standards to the curriculum.

However principals in favour of the standards do not agree.

Labour's education spokesperson, Sue Moroney, says using the levels instead of the standards is a simple change that shows how unneccessary the stoush over national standards has been.

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.

Both National and ACT say the policy is a backwards step, while the Green Party says it would be a good way of stopping arguments over the standards.