22 August 2011
For Immediate Release
Clear evidence of deep and widespread concern about National Standards
The education sector union NZEI Te Riu Roa says an evaluation report into National Standards counters government claims
that concern about National Standards is confined to a small group of politically-driven activists.
The School Sample Monitoring and Evaluation Project 2010 carried out for the Ministry of Education shows an overwhelming number of principals and boards of trustees have
concerns about the unintended consequences of National Standards and those concerns have increased over time.
93% of principals and 71% of Boards are moderately to very concerned about league tables, 88% of principals and 69% of
Boards are moderately to very concerned about the demotivation of students who are consistently below standard, and 83%
of principals have concerns about the narrowing of the curriculum.
“This simply backs up what we know is happening out there. The concern is widespread and is coming from all sorts of
different school communities around the country,” says NZEI President Ian Leckie.
The report also shows that the vast majority of principals considered themselves to be unsupported or minimally
supported across a range of issues related to the implementation of National Standards.
“That reflects a clear lack of confidence from principals who are supposed to be leading the implementation process and
sharing the information with their staff. Understandably there is a lack of consistency in terms of the professional
approach being taken to the Standards, again signalling that any data gathered from them is meaningless and potentially
In terms of reporting to parents the study shows that only a third of school reports included National Standards and was
clear about what they meant.
Mr Leckie says that’s not surprising and makes a mockery of one of the key government rationales for introducing the
Standards, which was to improve reporting on student achievement.
NZEI says the report provides yet more evidence that National Standards won’t work and the government must engage with
the sector on finding meaningful ways to raise student achievement.
New Zealand Educational Institute
NZEI Te Riu Roa members work in every community in New Zealand, leading and advocating for quality public education.
We are the 50,000 principals, teachers and support staff who work in primary, area and secondary schools as well as
early childhood centres, special education and school advisory services. We come together as NZEI Te Riu Roa - New
Zealand's largest education union, a Treaty based organisation and a powerful advocate for quality public education.
We have the most important job in New Zealand - educating for the future.