13 Oct 2010

Principal to attend standards meeting with open mind

10:25 am on 13 October 2010

A member of the National Standards Advisory Group says he will attend the group's first meeting with an open mind.

The Principals Federation says the standards in reading, writing and maths are flawed.

It has rejected an offer from Education Minister Anne Tolley to join the group, saying it will not allow a review of the standards, which is what is needed.

Papatoetoe Intermediate principal Brian Hinchco says he has serious doubts about the standards.

However, he says he will withhold judgement about the advisory group until after its first meeting on Thursday when the terms of reference will become clearer.

Mr Hinchco says until then, no one knows just what the group will be allowed to do, or what influence it will have on the national standards system.

He says he has just returned from the United States, where national standards in schools are also causing concern.

The Canterbury Primary Principals Association says Ms Tolley does not recognise there are flaws in national standards and her approach is like building a boat while it is sailing in the wrong direction.

President Denise Torrey says there needs to be a moratorium on the standards, so the flaws can be corrected before proceeding.