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National Standards Results

About National Standards

National Standards are guidelines to help keep track of pupils' progress and achievement through the first years of school. The standards – a flagship education policy of the National-led Government since before the 2008 election – assess all children in years 1 to 8 (aged 5 to 12) as being at, above, below or well below benchmarks in reading, writing and maths. National Standards have been used in primary, intermediate and some secondary schools since 2010. This year is the first time the schools have been required to report their results tothe Education Ministry. This year, there was no mandatory format required for reporting. Next year, a standard reporting format will be required.

How are National Standards assessed?

An Overall Teacher Judgment (OTJ) is made about a pupil's progress and achievement in relation to the National Standards. An OTJ should be based on a variety of evidence teachers already collect, such as the pupil's work, peer and self-assessment, classroom observation and formal and informal assessment activities. The ministry does not set a blanket target for all schools. Schools are expected to set appropriate targets for their pupils. However, the ministry has provided examples of what pupils would be able to achieve at different levels according to the standards.

Are the standards moderated between schools?

No. There is no national test that generates the results for National Standards. Schools have assessed their pupils against the standards as they view them, but there has been no checking between schools to compare how they are being applied.

Can you tell which are the best and worst schools by looking at their National Standards?

No. Because the standards have not been moderated, it is not possible to properly compare the results between schools. There are many different things that make for a good school. Performance against the standards should not be considered alone. Most experts think the progress schools are able to achieve with their pupils is more relevant than the results from any given year.

What else should you consider when looking at individual schools?
Visiting a school is the best way to judge it. Talk to the teachers, the principal and the parents of children at the school to find out what they think. You could also visit the school's website and read its Education Review Office report, both of which are linked on the results page of every school.