League tables for schools should be debated - Key

The Prime Minister says introducing league tables for schools could be considered by the government.  Photo / Thinkstock
The Prime Minister says introducing league tables for schools could be considered by the government. Photo / Thinkstock

League tables outlining school performance could be considered by the government.

Prime Minister John Key is not ruling out the Ministry of Education creating its own tables based on the information gathered through National Standards.

He said if they were able to get agreement from the sector they could provide more understandable and relevant information, as opposed to league tables based on material requested by media under the Official Information Act.

"I've always had a view, somehow this information is going to be in the public domain. The question is: What form is it going to take and what's it going to look like? And what I don't want to see is schools actually damaged by the information being presented in the wrong way."

The Prime Minister said he is yet to discuss the issue with Education Minister Hekia Parata, but said there should be a debate on the idea.

However, the president of The Educational Institute, Ian Leckie, said tables based on National Standards will not indicate whether a school is doing a good job.

"To make league tables out of National Standards will be totally destructive to education," he told Radio New Zealand.

Mr Leckie said National Standards were an "unreliable measure", as they have never have been trialled and there is no consistency between schools.

The Greens said the government's picking another fight with the education sector when it comes to having league tables outlining schools' performance on national standards.

Green MP Catherine Delahunty said league tables might tell you something about an individual school, but doesn't account for diversity between schools, and is at complete odds with the policy of improving teacher quality.

"I mean if he wants to keep having a bad relationship with the education sector he's going the right way about it. It's just very unconvincing."

- Newstalk ZB, Herald Online staff

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