9 Nov 2011

National standard critics happy with most parties' policies

9:28 am on 9 November 2011

Opponents of national standards in reading, writing and maths say they are pleased with cross-party support for abolishing or watering down the controversial policy.

The Green, New Zealand First and Mana parties want to abolish the standards, the Labour Party wants to make them voluntary and the United Future Party wants to change them.

Groups opposed to the standards, including the Principals Federation and teachers' union the Educational Institute, are pleased about that.

They say the issue is a weak point for the National Party and they predict it will be a vote-deciding issue for some people.

Principals Federation president Peter Simpson says it is heartening to see most parties want to abolish or water down the standards.

However, Tikipunga Primary School principal Donna Donnelly, who supports the standards, says teachers' work on them should not be wasted.

The Maori and ACT parties do not mention the standards in their education policies, though ACT says it supports them.