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

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