The Prime Minister says the Government will not create league tables from a new online listing of schools' results for national standards in reading, writing and maths.
The Government has announced it will put individual schools' National Standards results online from next month.
John Key says he does not want league tables, but he would eventually like to see the website compare schools of similar socio-economic background or decile.
Radio New Zealand's education correspondent says the approach, announced on Wednesday, is a step short of a league table ranking individual schools.
Instead, schools' results for 2011 will be compared to national and regional averages. Where the information is available, results will also be reported by year level and ethnicity.
Education groups have warned that schools are not interpreting the standards in reading, writing and maths consistently.
Education Minister Hekia Parata says, however, that the results are variable but not inaccurate and will show parents how their child's school is performing.
"Every school has reported their data according to their judgement about their learners," she says, "and we respect that, and therefore we will reproduce the information that the schools themselves have considered representative of their achievements."
Ms Parata says the Government will standardise the information schools must supply.