Education Minister Anne Tolley has bowed to concerns over national standards for primary school children.
Mrs Tolley has given schools three years until they have to report to the Government on whether students are meeting the new standards.
Announcing a timeline for the introduction of standards, she said the Government will still go ahead with the introduction of the policy into schools next year. But she says schools will not have to submit data until 2012.
Mrs Tolley says this will give them more time to work out how they will report on their students' achievement, and it shows she is listening to their concerns.
The NZEI is welcoming the delay, saying it is a sensible move. Union president Frances Nelson says it is reassuring that Mrs Tolley has listened to feedback from the sector.