Change 3 – Strengthen literacy and numeracy requirements and assessments

We heard strongly through engagement that many students leave school without the levels of literacy and numeracy needed to succeed in the community, further education and work.

What we've heard

Currently, many students don’t have their literacy and numeracy skills explicitly assessed before they receive an NCEA. Instead, students are assumed to have sufficient literacy and numeracy if they succeed in 20 credits worth of ‘literacy-and-numeracy-rich’ standards. There are over 700 of these achievement standards and they are not giving us reliable information about whether students are literate and numerate.

Key changes

  • We will be developing specific standards to assess literacy and numeracy. These standards will be externally assessed and students will need to pass them in order to be awarded an NCEA.
  • The credits will not contribute to the 60 credit requirement for each level of NCEA.
  • New and more robust literacy and numeracy assessments will be offered to students from Year 9 onwards.
  • In some cases, exceptions to the single literacy and numeracy benchmark may be appropriate, particularly for students with English as their second language.