13 Jul 2012

Ranking schools will pit them against each other

9:55 pm on 13 July 2012

Principals Federation leaders say the country's reputation for having one of the best schooling systems in the world will be compromised, if schools don't work collaboratively.

Prime Minister John Key says that league tables for primary schools are a good way for parents to get information on how schools are performing.

But the federation's vice president, Phil Harding, says that will lead to levels of competition which will corrode vital collaboration.

He says schools need to work together with the Ministry of Education to maintain high standards.

An Iwi Education Authority, which represents 23 kura, says it backs the tables because schools would be more accountable for performance and responsible for achieving results.

But the union representing primary school teachers, however, says the Government has been misinformed about the benefits of league tables and introducing them would be a terrible idea.

New Zealand Educational Institute president Ian Leckie last month told Morning Report that it would be "totally destructive" to education to make league tables out of national standards.

"To rank schools on a narrow measure really means schools will narrow their curriculum to the measures that are seen to be successful and that's not a step forward for New Zealand education.

"That's why the political view is just so far out of kilter with what's good for children."