School reports will tell it how it is

NZ Herald May 21, 2009

Parents could be warned their children are performing well below expectations in a proposed move to “plain language” on school reports. This week the Ministry of Education opened its proposed set of national standards for consultation, setting national standards for numeracy and literacy achievement and the way students’ progress should be reported. In the past parents have been confused by the language in school reports but the ministry is advocating “plain language reporting” – telling parents whether a child is achieving at the standard they should be, or whether they are just below, well below, just above or well above the national standard.

President of Auckland Primary Principals’ Association Marilyn Gwilliam said parents needed to be told, in plain and simple language, how their child was doing. When they understood the areas in which their son or daughter struggled, they could work more constructively alongside the school to lift the child’s achievement.