16 Dec 2009

Report shows national education standards urgent - minister

2:54 pm on 16 December 2009

Education Minister Anne Tolley says she is shocked by a report that shows 30% of Year 1 and 2 teachers are not teaching reading and writing effectively.

Mrs Tolley says the findings highlight the urgent need for National Standards, but teachers say this could make things worse.

The evaluation by the Education Review Office, ordered by Mrs Tolley last year, found while 70% teachers were doing well, 30% were setting low expectations for five and six year olds.

Mrs Tolley says she is particularly disturbed by the fact two-thirds of principals are not monitoring results.

The release of the report comes as the Government prepares to introduce national standards in primary schools, to assess reading, writing and maths.

The teachers' union, the NZ Education Institute says the findings show the system is mostly working well, but a minority of inexperienced teachers need more support.

President Frances Nelson says Mrs Tolley should not use the findings as an excuse to push through national standards for primary children.