National Standards unrealistic and don't work - school principals

The NZPF says National Standards aren't working and kids are missing out.
The NZPF says National Standards aren't working and kids are missing out. Photo credit: Getty

A school principal group says National Standards are not working, and is putting pressure on the Government to scrap them.

The New Zealand Principals' Federation (NZPF) is concerned the focus on assessing writing, math and reading is narrowing the curriculum, giving children less opportunity to engage in other areas.

NZPF president Whetu Cormick wants the Ministry of Education to reintroduce a boarder curriculum.

"Teachers are finding it difficult to find time to get outside and kick balls and to pick up paint brushes. This is not a curriculum and not an education system that anyone should be proud of."

National Standards focus on getting primary and intermediate students up to scratch in reading, writing and maths. They are a National Party policy, which the party says help provide parents with information about how well their child is doing in school.

Earlier this year, the Government announced a goal of getting 80 percent of year eight students achieving the National Standard in maths and writing.

In 2016, 70 percent of year eight students achieved the standard in maths and 69.3 percent in writing.

"I have no idea how the current Government and the current minister is proposing to get us by 2021 to 80 percent of young people at that standard. That's not going to happen."

If there is a change of Government in September's election, National Standards would be scrapped. They are opposed by Labour, the Greens and NZ First - and until year 6 by TOP.