Government to rephase NCEA Change Programme

The Government has announced that it is making significant changes to the NCEA Change Programme, delaying the implementation by 2 years, Minister of Education Erica Stanford announced today.

“Ensuring New Zealand’s curriculum is world leading is a vital part of the Government’s plan to deliver better public services and ensure all students receive the education they need to set themselves up for further study and life. 

“The current NCEA Change Programme, introduced by the last Government, is fundamentally flawed, in that it designs the assessments before writing the curriculum that details what students should be learning.

“Principals and teachers around the country said the sector was not ready for the roll-out of NCEA Level 1 changes, but these changes went ahead anyway. As a result, some schools stopped offering Level 1 NCEA at all.  

“Therefore, I will be delaying the programme’s start by 2 years. It is essential to change the approach, give certainty to teachers, parents and students about the implementation timeline of the NCEA Change Programme and put in place a clear, knowledge-rich curriculum.

“Teachers have repeatedly called for greater clarity about what to teach. Only 40 per cent of schools reported being ready for the introduction of the new NCEA Level 1.

“The Government will be rephasing the NCEA Change Programme to develop the secondary curriculum of Year 11-13 subject areas before introduction of new assessments.”

As a result of this the NCEA Change Programme will be delayed by two years. During this time key actions will support the more effective implementation of our National Qualification:

  • A review of the new NCEA Level 1 will be undertaken by the Education Review Office documenting key learnings.
  • Additional review of other aspects of the NCEA Change Programme, including the methods for external assessments, periods of study leave, and moderation practices.
  • The senior secondary curriculum for Year 11-13 students will be developed.
  • An implementation plan will reflect learnings from ERO’s evaluation of Level 1.
  • NCEA Level 1 (revised) and NCEA Level 2 will be fully implemented by 2028.
  • NCEA Level 3 will be fully implemented by 2029.

“Today’s decision shows the Government has listened to principals and teachers. Schools need to have confidence in our national curriculum and qualifications.

“The Government is relentlessly focused on lifting student achievement and providing access to better public services through a high-performing education system. I will be announcing further components of our Curriculum Reform package in the coming weeks.”

Minister's release – Beehive website(external link)

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