7 Aug 2012

Ministry considering regional education targets

10:46 am on 7 August 2012

The Ministry of Education has suggested setting different education targets for schools in different parts of the country.

A discussion document obtained by Radio New Zealand says that in September the ministry will publish targets for achievement against the National Standards in reading, writing and maths.

It says the targets will be national and regional.

Educators are surprised by the idea and say it will give the ministry's regional offices more reason to pressure schools.

However, it is not clear the Government has adopted the idea. Education Minister Hekia Parata has declined to comment.

The ministry says an announcement will be made later this week.

Principals Federation president Paul Drummond says he doubts the Government can set different targets for schools in different regions using the National Standards.

Mr Drummond says there is merit in targetting resources but it has not been proved that National Standards provide a sound basis for doing that.

"You will find some schools in some areas doing remarkable work in very challenging socio-economic areas," Mr Drummond says, "and they are suburb by suburb rather than necessarily region by region.

"So I would find it rather difficult to see how you could make regional targets around this data."