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The current design of NCEA can make it hard for some New Zealanders to access and achieve a qualification.

What we’ve heard

Although results can be viewed online, students with unpaid NCEA fees do not receive a formal recognition of achievement, which is unfair.

Many assessment standards, teaching and learning guides, exemplars and assessment resources are not inclusive of other languages, cultures, identities, disabilities, genders, and sexualities. For example, some contain:

  • Cultural assumptions that privilege some learners.
  • Assumptions that unfairly disadvantage some learners with disabilities.
  • Use of contexts that exclude some learners.
  • Limited guidance on how to include local histories and contexts.
  • The process of applying for Special Assessment Conditions (SAC), such as enlarged text or braille can be difficult, and often stops people from applying.

Key changes

  • End NCEA fees, including for NZ Scholarship.
  • Design achievement standards and associated resources that are accessible and inclusive so that everyone has an equal opportunity to achieve, and the need to apply for a SAC is reduced.
  • Where possible, make some existing SACs such as large-text papers available for anyone.
  • Simplify the application and evaluation process for SAC.

Students at the CoLab

NCEA Change Package Overview 2019

Read the NCEA Change Package Overview 2019 for more detail about the changes, the journey we took with New Zealand to get to them, and what an NCEA programme could look like.

cover image of overview document

Around 16,000 New Zealanders took part in the year-long review of NCEA, and the Ministry of Education is to continue to work with stakeholders to confirm a detailed design and implementation plan for the changes by the end of the year.

Read the other changes

  1. Make NCEA more accessible
  2. Mana ōrite mō te mātauranga Māori
  3. Strengthen literacy and numeracy requirements
  4. Have fewer, larger standards
  5. Simplify NCEA’s structure
  6. Show clearer pathways to further education and employment
  7. Keep NCEA Level 1 as an optional level