Home About

This website has been wound up and is no longer maintained. For up-to-date information and resources about the NCEA Change Programme, go to NCEA.education.govt.nz.




20 February 2020

Cabinet confirms changes to strengthen NCEA

The Cabinet recently confirmed a package of seven changes to strengthen the NCEA. These changes are:

1. Make NCEA more accessible – zero fees, more support for learners

2. Equal status for mātauranga Maori in NCEA – develop ways to credential mātauranga Maori, build teacher capability, improve resourcing and support for Maori learners

3. Strengthen literacy and numeracy standards and assessments – ensure students with an NCEA have literacy and numeracy skills that will enable them to transition into tertiary education or the workplace.

4. Fewer, larger standards – More than 1000 new achievement standards and resources will be developed to ensure the qualification achieved credentials the most significant learning in a learning area or subject.

5. Simplify NCEA's structure – Only 60 credits are required to pass each level. Credits can no longer be carried over to the next level and resubmissions will only be allowed where they take students from a Not Achieved grade to an Achieved grade.

6. Clearer pathways to further education or work – develop a Vocational Entrance Award to clearly signal a student is ready to transition into higher level vocational education.

7. Keep NCEA Level 1 optional – ensure Level 1 provides students with the broad, foundational knowledge needed to support specialisation at Levels 2 and 3.

Two changes to the original proposed NCEA change package were also approved and relate to strengthening the 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.

Read the Ministry of Education's Media Release here.



This page was last updated on 30 March 2020.