God knows what the National Standards are designed to do – it can’t be to lift achievement. Even the Minister says that is not the case. It can’t be to identify those behind – schools already do that. Anyway there is no money or extra resources to ‘fix’ them.
Maybe there is a bigger plan – like following the UK who introduced McDonalds like prescriptive teaching even for under fives. In the UK, Labour’s 69 must-haves for four year olds has lead to a tick box culture and a curriculum that
…does not stretch higher achievers and restricts parental choice as to how they educate their children.
…children must hit 69 targets before they start full-time education.
This includes counting up to 10, reciting the alphabet, writing their own name and simple words and forming sentences using basic punctuation.
This is frightening and amazing as many of our children don’t even bring these skills to school as five year olds (no wonder they won’t meet the National Standard).
But there is some good news according to the biggest review of primary schools for 40 years, and after the disaster that has been England’s National Standards system, children should start formal education at the age of six. Now what was that about being at Green Reading Level by the end of Year One Mrs Tolley?
There was a time when NZ were world leaders in Education. Amazingly for the spend we still feature near the top of the OECD. Do we really have to subject everyone to the balls up that is Education in the UK?