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Education, GERM (Global Education Reform Movement), Government Policy, National Standards, Opt Out

Another family says no to National Standards

no thank you

More and more people are telling their schools they do not want to know their child’s National Standards levels.

This one is the latest:


Dear [principal],

We are incredibly pleased with xxxxxxx School and the excellent work done to settle our boy, xxxxx, and others into Year 1. We are thrilled with the work [his teacher] does in room xxx and the effect her teaching has on xxxxx’s learning and behaviour. We are kept very well informed of xxxxx’s achievements and goals, which helps us to support and reinforce his learning. Information we share regarding key competencies also helps us all focus together developing skills such as teamwork, application, risk-taking, creativity and personal control. We honestly could not wish for more or speak more highly of xxxxx’s experience or of [his teacher].

However, we do have one looming issue, and that is National Standards. We do not support National Standards. We do not see the benefit of comparing any child’s learning with others or against an arbitrary benchmark that has little to no merit. We know, moreover, that National Standards have the potential to do harm in many ways. Therefore, we do not wish for any of xxxxx’s National Standards information to be passed to us or to xxxxx in any way whatsoever, in writing or orally at any point.

We are not asking the school not to assess xxxxx against National Standards, nor are we asking for his levels not to be provided to Ministry – we are aware that schools are legally obliged to do these things, as outlined in NAG2a. We simply do not wish to know those levels and do not want [our child] to know them, either.

Information such as that reported to us at the parent/teacher interview –  reading level, what maths concepts he has grasped, the words he can spell, and so on – gives us a good and clear picture of where xxxxx is at with his learning, and this type of information is sufficient.

We do not wish to add to [his teacher] or any other staff’s workload, and are happy for any National Standards portions of xxxxx’s reports to be simply left blank.

Again, we cannot thank you and your staff enough for creating such a positive and excellent learning environment where our child is very clearly thriving.


The resistance has begun, one family at a time.

See also:

About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi


6 thoughts on “Another family says no to National Standards

  1. So can we opt out of our children sitting standardised tests in school? The teachers/management can still measure them against the National Standards (as required to do so) but use teacher judgement based on their daily class work instead of a standard test result?

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by michele cameron | February 3, 2015, 8:48 pm
  2. Michele, in New Zealand we are lucky that the unions fought hard not to have standardised tests, so schools can choose the tests that they feel are most useful (within reason) and National Standards are judged largely on those results. It’s far less invasive, and teachers always have done that testing to check out how students are doing, so it’s no different in that respect. What is different is using those results to benchmark kids on a dodgy scale, especially since there is little to no extra help for anyone having difficulties anyway. Hope that makes it a little clearer. ~ Dianne

    Liked by 2 people

    Posted by Save Our Schools NZ | February 3, 2015, 9:34 pm
  3. Reblogged this on Save Our Schools NZ and commented:

    Just a wee reminder to parents in New Zealand that you can opt out of having National Standards information reported to you and/or your child.


    Liked by 1 person

    Posted by Save Our Schools NZ | March 31, 2015, 9:22 pm
  4. Reblogged this on Miss Hamilton's Flipping Classroom and commented:
    A very interesting letter from concerned parents of a primary school student.


    Posted by Polly Hamilton | April 1, 2015, 7:31 pm


  1. Pingback: Dear Principal, we are opting out of National Standards … | Save Our Schools NZ - June 13, 2014

  2. Pingback: National Standards – Resistance is not futile « The Daily Blog - June 14, 2014

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