Changes to NCEA will be phased in over five years, according to Deputy Secretary, Early Learning and Student Achievement, Ellen MacGregor-Reid .
“In May 2019, following a comprehensive review, in-principle decisions were announced on the direction and extent of changes to NCEA. Now that the Government has confirmed decisions we are starting work to make the changes,” Ms MacGregor-Reid says.
“NCEA Level 1 will remain optional but it will change to become a broader foundational qualification that allows students to keep their options open, while Levels 2 and 3 become more specialised. I encourage people to take a look and let us know what they think.
“As a first step we have prepared a provisional list for NCEA Level 1 subjects which is available for public comment over the next two months. Following feedback it will then be finalised so that the development of achievement standards can begin.
“Subjects derived from Te Marautanga o Aotearoa are also being designed currently with sector-based groups and a full provisional subjects list will be confirmed later in 2020.”
Two changes to the original proposed NCEA package relate to strengthening NCEA’s literacy and numeracy requirements:
The new, more robust, literacy and numeracy assessment will be offered to students from Year 9 onwards, rather than from Years 7 and 8, and in some cases exceptions to a single literacy and numeracy benchmark qualification without any alternative pathways may be appropriate – particularly for students with English as their second language.
“These new assessments will not be mandatory until 2023 because we want to ensure teachers and schools have the time and support they need for these changes,” Ms MacGregor-Reid says.
“We will work closely with teachers and other experts to rebuild more than 1,000 achievement standards and accompanying resources in a way that minimises any unnecessary burden on those involved.
“We have been trialling our approach to developing NCEA subjects, with four subject expert groups established in 2019 working on Science, English, Religious Studies and Visual Arts.
“This sector-based development is a new approach. Once it takes in all NCEA subjects it will be a considerable five year project.
“More than 50 subject expert groups may be convened, involving more than 400 senior secondary teachers and representatives from the tertiary sector and industry.
“Implementation of the changes will follow a staged approach, while details and timings may be subject to Budget 2020 and future Budget decisions,” Ms MacGregor-Reid says.