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Public desire for change: the future of NCEA

Thousands of New Zealanders’ views on NCEA and its future have been captured in a report released by the Ministry of Education today.

The report, compiled by the New Zealand Council for Education Research (NZCER), analyses the feedback gathered from surveys, formal submissions, workshops, in-depth interviews and focus groups.

“Earlier this year the Minister of Education put out a call to action for all New Zealanders to have a say on the future of NCEA. We’ve heard from students, principals, teachers, whānau, business owners, tertiary groups, and many more diverse voices,” says Ministry of Education, Deputy Secretary for Early Learning and Student Achievement, Ms MacGregor-Reid.

“We’re delighted that so many New Zealanders got involved, and how passionate people are about sharing their experiences with NCEA. Through targeted engagement, we’ve also been able to hear from people who haven’t always been well served by the education system.”

Over 16,000 people engaged directly in the NCEA Review, with over 8,000 filling in a survey or detailed submission and around 8,000 others attending a workshop, meeting, hui, fono, focus group, in-depth interview or debate.

“This report summarises what we’ve heard. It highlights the things that people like about NCEA, and areas where it could be strengthened. Similarly there are a wide range of ideas about how we could do this, and what a more future-focused NCEA might look like,” says Ms MacGregor-Reid.

“Many people told us they value NCEA. Across all groups, the thing people like most about NCEA is its flexibility. In particular, many like NCEA’s mixture of external and internal credits, and the range of ways students can achieve credits.

“Some people noted that, although they think NCEA is an excellent qualification, there can be challenges with how the qualification is implemented. They told us that the qualification could have more focus on learning than on assessment, which could include less emphasis on credit accumulation.

“People also suggested that we could also look at ways to change the structure of NCEA. For example changing the number and content of NCEA levels and offering more support around how NCEA is understood and used.

“We are working with the Ministerial Advisory Group, Professional Advisory Group, Reference Group, the education profession, students, employers and wider community, to prepare recommendations for the Minister to take to Cabinet in April,” says Ms MacGregor-Reid.

A plan for the future of NCEA will be released for consultation later in 2019.

There is a regulatory requirement for all qualifications on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) to be reviewed and relisted. NCEA was scheduled for this in 2018, which tied in with the wider Education Conversation or Kōrero Mātauranga that began earlier this year.

Read the report NCEA Review: Findings from the public engagement on the future of NCEA 

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