12 Mar 2010

Education minister fronts up over national standards

3:25 pm on 12 March 2010

Education Minister Anne Tolley has been holding public meetings around the country in a bid to allay fears about the new national standards.

On Thursday, Mrs Tolley attended two public meetings in Auckland, to explain how the new standards in numeracy and literacy will work.

At the meetings one parent expressed frustration that teachers and principals had dominated the discussion, while another said she desperately wanted more information about her children from their school.

The primary teachers union, the New Zealand Education Institute, warns schools are ill equipped and many just won't be introducing the new standards.

However, the minister says the rollout is going very well, with hundreds of schools now just getting on with it.

School Trustees Association president Lorraine Kerr says there's little opposition, with only five schools giving formal notification they won't be introducing the standards.

She says 20 principals among 2000 oppose the standards.

Radio New Zealand's political staff say there is still much disquiet around the reporting of the information to communities and the ministry in 2012.

Concerns remain about the possibility of league tables, and schools being unfairly compared based on inaccurate data.

Anne Tolley has set up an an expert group to help smooth the waters, and acknowledges it's still a sensitive area.

Earlier this week Southbridge School in Canterbury said it was refusing the directive to implement national standards.

Read more: http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/stories/2010/03/10/1247f7d7f469]Primary school refuses national standards