Teachers want the Government to scrap its education policies and start afresh now ministry chief executive Lesley Longstone has resigned.
Ms Longstone quit because of "strains" between herself and Education Minister Hekia Parata after a string of bungled projects and policy reversals.
The primary teachers union, NZEI, says Ms Longstone was handed impossible tasks and it's time for the Government to start again.
"Education policy is in disarray - not only because it's unpopular but because it's plain wrong," said NZEI national secretary Paul Goulter.
"We've been going down the wrong path for several years now, we need a complete change of direction."
The NZEI and the Public Service Association say Ms Longstone has been a scapegoat for Ms Parata's inept performance.
Opposition parties are demanding her resignation.
"Everything she has touched she has stuffed up," said Labour's Chris Hipkins.
State Services Commissioner Iain Rennie announced Ms Longstone's resignation on Wednesday.
"It's fair to say that the issues between the minister and the chief executive have been raised with me both my the minister and the chief executive," he said.
Ms Longstone was recruited from Britain and had been in the job for just under a year.
She is going home for Christmas and returning to continue in the position until February 8 when a replacement will be appointed.