Principal expresses sympathy for National Standards’ supporters

The President of Te Tai Tokerau Principals’ Association has expressed sympathy to those employed in the Ministry of Education, who he says have spent the past few years “zealously enforcing” National Standards. 

Pat Newman, president of Te Tai Tokerau Principals’ Association, says it must be “a really hard time for all of those who believed so strongly in National Standards that they went out of their way to enforce them on schools”. “I am aware,” he said, “that whilst all Ministry staff  were required to push National Standards, some believed so much in them, that they approached their implementation with more than just lip service.

“Many principals and boards were put under extreme pressure to toe the line. In fact in the past, a large number of boards of trustees were even threatened by some Ministry staff, with formal intervention!”

Mr Newman also said that many in the Education Review Office showed the same enthusiasm for enforcing National Standards even though experienced educators often disagreed. In fact in many cases, the nebulous results of National Standards were what constituted a successful review or not!

“I feel quite sorry for those in the Ministry and ERO who strongly believed in National Standards and used all their ability to force them on schools,” said Mr Newman. “I suppose for those who so fervently believed in National Standards, their integrity will mean they will have to be looking at resigning. This is not new. Many principals when faced with the decision to introduce the standards resigned, and many others had to endure the immense pressure to conform!”

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