Further temporary changes to NCEA for Auckland students

  • Hon Chris Hipkins

Additional support, including the option of summer school, is being put in place for senior secondary school students whose learning has been disrupted by the re-emergence of COVID-19 in the community, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today.

“This has been an unsettling year for many New Zealanders, but I know it’s been particularly stressful for some senior secondary students. The wellbeing of students is one of our top priorities, and everyone working towards NCEA this year will have had their learning and assessment programme affected by COVID-19,” Chris Hipkins said.

”The resurgence of COVID in the community has meant that some students - particularly those in Auckland - have spent a longer period out of their classrooms at a critical time of year, and additional changes to NCEA are being made to recognise this,” Chris Hipkins said.

“NCEA changes for all students were announced in May and June, including the introduction of Learning Recognition Credits, changes to thresholds for Course and Certificate endorsements, and delays to NCEA examination and portfolio submission dates.

“Today’s announcement builds on these changes and the distance learning support already provided to help minimise disruption,” Chris Hipkins said.

Here are the additional changes for students whose schools have operated under Alert Level 3 during Term 3 or Term 4:

  • We are expanding and enhancing programmes such as the Big Picture Programme delivered through Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) - the Correspondence School for students who are at risk of disengaging or who may already be disengaged from education from Term 4
  • For students who only need a few additional credits (up to 10 credits) to gain an NCEA or University Entrance, we are temporarily lifting the cap on the number of students who can enrol in Te Kura Correspondence School over the summer period from 1,000 students to up to 4,000 students
  • Students will have the ability to earn up to 6 additional Learning Recognition Credits at NCEA Level 1, or 4 additional Learning Recognition Credits at NCEA Levels 2 or 3, raising the cap to a total of 16 Learning Recognition Credits at NCEA Level 1, and 12 at NCEA Levels 2 and 3
  • We are changing the ratio by which Learning Recognition Credits are earned, so one Learning Recognition Credit will be received for each four credits students earn through assessment, rather than one Learning Recognition Credit for each five credits earn through assessment
  • Reducing of the threshold to receive an NCEA certificate endorsement from 46 credits to 44 credits. The threshold to receive an NCEA endorsement is usually 50 credits at Merit or Excellence.

“In addition, there may be a small number of other circumstances where it may be appropriate to apply the expanded Learning Recognition Credits changes. NZQA and the Ministry of Education will determine the criteria for consideration of these.

“Today’s decisions will provide immediate relief to students, teachers and whānau who are concerned about the impact of the second lockdown on the opportunity to attain NCEA while maintaining the credibility and reputation of the qualification.

“The Ministry of Education and NZQA have worked alongside school principals, teachers and my NCEA Professional Advisory Group on these changes, and I’d like to thank them for their advice.

“Since I announced changes to University Entrance (UE) in June, Universities have amended their discretionary entry requirements in recognition of the disruption students have experienced this year.

“This has been a tough year, I encourage students who are feeling anxious or stressed to reach out if they need any help,” Chris Hipkins said.