Kids returning to school with teachers unsure what will replace National Standards

As children return to school this week, teachers and principals say they don't know what they should do instead of meeting National Standards which have been scrapped by the new Government.

Labour campaigned on getting rid of National Standards, which were controversially introduced by the previous government, but a lack of communication from the Education Ministry may be to blame for the confusion.  

"We haven't been given any clear direction from our new Government as to what is to replace national standards," said Sandra Smith, Principal of Linwood North School in Christchurch.

Ms Smith says her school will keep using the standards system because it has not been told what to do next. 

"Well it would have been quite nice to have been able to inform my board exactly what our intentions were as a leadership team this year. And so in the meantime we're just continuing on," she said.

Schools can continue using National Standards, but they won't need report back to the ministry anymore. 

They could also revert back to the old system where they report to parents twice a year. 

There are questions about whether the new Labour Government pulled out of the system too quickly, and if there's a clear plan in place.

"We are going to need some guide to untangle the issues that we've had. It's going to take some work. So it will require a lot of money, resources, in terms of professional development," said Whetu Cormick of the New Zealand Principals' Federation.

With Linwood North still in the dark, 1 NEWS put those concerns to the Education Minister, Chris Hipkins. 

"Well it could be a communication issue, I suspect. Or it could be a bit of politics. Not every school in the country is going to agree with this. The vast bulk of them do," Mr Hipkins said.  

The Education Ministry says it has been proactive in contacting school leaders. 

Labour campaigned on getting rid of National Standards. Source: 1 NEWS

Cromwell NZ's hottest place today at 36.6 degrees as records tumble in Central Otago

A trio of Central Otago towns have hit record temperatures today as the South Island sweats under the continuing heatwave.

Cromwell was the hottest place in New Zealand today, equalling its top January temperature ever recorded.

The mercury hit a sweltering 36.6 degrees in the gold rush town.

Further south, the maximum today in Clyde was 35.5C, eclipsing its previous record temperature for the month, NIWA said.

It was the hottest day in Clyde ever recorded for January since records began there in 1978.

Meanwhile, 40 kilometres north-east, the mercury in Lauder climbed to 35.8 degrees, its second highest temperature recorded in January.

New Zealand's current hottest temperature on record is 42.4 degrees, recorded in Rangiora in February 1973.

Meanwhile, the heatwave in the lower South Island has seen more people arriving at hospital with complaints related to dehydration and sun exposure. 

The Southern District Health Board is urging caution, with sweltering temperatures expected for a few more days.  

The warning is particularly important at some workplaces, such as building sites.

Plenty of water is the the key for tradesmen on construction sites, plus frequent breaks in the shade, and earlier starts and if it's too hot. That means tools are down early too.

Temperatures should peak tomorrow in Otago and Canterbury, but it could be another two or three days before they dip below 30 degrees.

The Southern DHB is urging caution with sweltering temperatures expected for a few more days. Source: 1 NEWS



One dead in Whangarei crash between car and motorcycle

One person is dead after a crash between a car and a motorcycle in Whangarei this evening.

Emergency services were called to the scene on Russell Road in Whakapara at about 6.30pm.

A Fire and Emergency spokesperson told 1 NEWS that two fire crews attended and are assisting traffic control.

Police car generic.
Police car generic. Source: 1 NEWS