Schools have been ticked off by the Ombudsman in a stern letter, explaining to them their obligations under the Official Information Act. The NZEI should cease and desist from their illegal actions is essentially what she has told them:
Schools have been told to disregard the advice of a primary teachers’ union and instead release controversial National Standards performance information.
Chief Ombudsman Dame Beverley Wakem has written to all schools after some brushed off requests for the data with a pro-forma response provided by the New Zealand Educational Institute.
Dame Beverley said the advice NZEI had offered “conflicted” with that provided by the New Zealand School Trustees Association.
“In my view boards of trustees are entitled to rely on the advice conveyed by the NZSTA. However, boards that rely on the advice conveyed by the NZEI risk an adverse finding being made against them by an Ombudsman under the [law],” she said.
Schools that had acted, or were considering acting, “in accordance with the NZEI advice” should reconsider, she said.
Those that continued to refuse or extend release of information would face an investigation, which “may find that a board has acted unreasonably or contrary to the law”.