Curriculum and assessment changes

It is critical our education system continues to evolve and remains focused on delivering equitable and excellent outcomes.  

On 5 April 2024, the Government announced that the NCEA Change Programme will be rephased by 2 years to enable better alignment between curriculum and NCEA.

  • The roll out of NCEA Level 2 qualifications, previously planned for 2026, will be rephased to 2028.
  • The roll out of NCEA Level 3 qualifications, previously planned for 2027, will be rephased to 2029.

There is more information in the Government’s press release.

Government to rephase NCEA Change Programme – Beehive(external link)

We will provide updated information as soon as possible.

What is happening

A 6-year programme to refresh the New Zealand Curriculum and redesign Te Marautanga o Aotearoa is underway, aimed at ensuring all ākonga experience rich and responsive learning.

At the same time, changes are also taking place – or have been proposed – for early learning and NCEA.

An integral part of the Government’s agreed response to the independent review of Tomorrow’s Schools, and implementation of the early learning action plan, we are engaging, partnering and consulting with the education sector, whānau, communities and ākonga in doing this work.

Review of Tomorrow’s Schools – Kōrero Mātauranga(external link)

All of these changes will honour our past and our obligations to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

Supporting quality, equity and choice in early learning

Curriculum and assessment actions are included in the early learning action plan.

  • Develop a sustained and planned approach to professional learning and development with a focus on local curriculum and pedagogical leadership.
  • Gazette the curriculum framework, Te Whāriki – to support engagement with the principles, strands, goals and outcomes when designing local curricula. Public consultation on gazetting the full framework of Te Whāriki, including a te ao Māori interpretation of the framework has been completed and highlighted overall sector support. We gazetted the full framework of Te Whāriki in April 2023 and intend to complete implementation in May 2024.
  • Co-construct a range of valid, reliable, culturally and linguistically appropriate tools to support formative assessment and teaching proactive. Kōwhiti Whakapae is being developed as an evidence-based resource to help kaiako notice, recognise and respond to children’s progress over-time within the framework of Te Whāriki. It will focus on three specific areas of learning - social-emotional learning, oral language and literacy, and maths.

Early learning action plan – Kōrero Mātauranga(external link)

Refreshing the New Zealand Curriculum

We are 3 years into a 6-year programme to refresh the New Zealand Curriculum.

The refreshed curriculum will support students to experience success in their learning. It will give effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and will be inclusive, clear about the learning that matters, and easy to use from Year 0 to Year 13.

Schools, kura, whānau and communities will be better supported to do what they do best: create rich and responsive learning that helps students realise their goals and aspirations.

The new Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories content was required from the beginning of 2023, but schools will have until the beginning of 2027 to implement the rest of the refreshed curriculum.

Schools and kura must use the refreshed mathematics and statistics and English learning areas from the start of 2025.

Aotearoa New Zealand’s histories website(external link)

Curriculum Refresh website(external link)

Redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa

We are redesigning Te Marautanga o Aotearoa based on the conceptual framework of Te Tamaiti Hei Raukura. This will reflect a more indigenous curriculum that is consistent with the:

  • philosophies and principles of kaupapa Māori education and Māori-medium education
  • aspirations of whānau, hapū and iwi
  • central position of the Māori language and culture.

The redesigned curriculum will shift the current curriculum structure toward a more holistic and ākonga-centred pedagogy. It will prepare ākonga for the future by developing the skills and capabilities they need to thrive in their ever-changing world.

Te Takanga o Te Wā content is taught since the beginning of 2023. The redesigned Te Marautanga o Aotearoa content will be available for kura to use from 2025, for full implementation in 2027.

Te Takanga o Te Wā – Kauwhata Reo(external link) 

As well as the redesign of Te Marautanga o Aotearoa, we:

  • have launched Hei Raukura Mō Te Mokopuna, the Government's strategy to strengthen te reo matatini and pāngarau across te reo Māori education pathways
  • are refreshing Rukuhia Rarangahia, the Ministry's position paper on Aromatawai
  • are working on preparing for change, including through the marau-ā-kura project.

Hei Raukura Mō Te Mokopuna – Kauwhata Reo(external link)

Rukuhia Rarangahia – TKI(external link) 

Te Whakahou i Te Marautanga o Aotearoa – Kauwhata Reo(external link)

NCEA change programme

We are in the process of strengthening NCEA by making a series of changes to improve wellbeing, equity, coherence, pathways and credibility.

The significant reform of NCEA is made up of 7 key change areas:

  • make NCEA more accessible
  • equal status for mātauranga Māori
  • strengthen literacy and numeracy requirements and assessments
  • fewer, larger standards
  • simplify NCEA's structure
  • clearer pathways to further education or work
  • keep NCEA Level 1 optional.

The changes are scheduled to be phased in over the next 4 years, with new achievement standards at Levels 1, 2 and 3 in place by January 2027.

Programme timelines and engagement opportunities

This 'forward planner' poster shows the key milestones for curriculum and assessment changes and programmes each term.

Support and resources

There is an ongoing range of resources and materials to support kaiako, whānau and ākonga being made available nationally and locally.

Tāhūrangi: Your online hub for curriculum content(external link)

Te Whāriki Online(external link)

Te Kete Ipurangi (TKI)(external link)

Kia māhorahora te reo Māori – Kauwhata Reo(external link)

Support for schools, leaders and teachers – Curriculum Refresh(external link)

NCEA website(external link)

Regionally-based curriculum leads will support leaders, teachers, and kaiako with the changes, including the design of marau-ā-kura and local curriculum for early learning services, schools and kura.

Meet the curriculum leads

Since 2020, new priorities for regionally-allocated professional learning and development (PLD) were implemented to support teachers and kaiako to provide responsive and rich learning experiences in early learning, schools and kura.

PLD priorities – Professional Learning & Development(external link)

Professional development in early learning

Strengthened networks of expertise also provide vital support for teachers and kaiako. Collaborative inquiry is one of the most powerful ways to influence change and practices that best support teaching and learning. Positive change can come about for individual learners, their communities and at a system level.

Networks of expertise – PLD Education(external link)

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