12 Jul 2013

Backdown on national standards tool

10:41 pm on 12 July 2013

The Government has backed down on plans to force teachers to use a $5 million computer program for the national standards in reading, writing and maths.

The change comes after teacher and principal groups called for a boycott of the program four weeks ago.

The progress and consistency tool is being developed for use nex year and was to be mandatory from 2015.

Education Minister Hekia Parata now says it won't be compulsory, but expects most teachers will want to use it.

Groups representing teachers and principals are welcoming the change and say they will reconsider their position. But they warn there is no guarantee they will abandon the boycott because they are still unhappy with other aspects of the national standards.

The Principals' Federation says the action is not about the program itself, but about the impact of the national standards on schools.