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Dismantling barriers to NCEA

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NCEA should allow all learners to achieve their full potential. But some still face barriers to achieving an NCEA, including a lack of support for their learning needs, financial barriers to entry, or a lack of curriculum materials. This opportunity explores three ways we can improve access, but we also want to hear from you about what else could be done.

NCEA is designed to allow all students to achieve their full potential. But some still face barriers to achieving an NCEA. Barriers can include a lack of support to address their learning needs, financial barriers or a lack of curriculum materials. 

This opportunity explores making Special Assessment Conditions (SAC) more accessible. SAC provides practical help, under special rules, to ensure all students have an equal shot at success.

We’ve heard there are gaps in curriculum resources in some areas. This can mean that some teachers have to design programmes from scratch, without the benefit of exemplars, sample programmes or examples of assessments. 

Currently, all students must pay annual NCEA fees of $76.70 to get their award. We would remove the requirement for learners and their families to pay NCEA fees. We would also remove Scholarship entry fees. This would end the issue of learners not receiving their NCEA because they weren’t able to pay fees and could improve access to Scholarship for learners in low-decile schools.

Focus questions

  • What are the major barriers to accessing NCEA?
  • How can technology help improve access to NCEA for all students?
  • How else could NCEA be changed to remove barriers to success?

Download the Big Opportunities discussion document

Download the Big Opportunity 6 factsheet

Download the Big Opportunity 6 A3 poster