Seven planned changes to strengthen NCEA

In February 2020, the Cabinet confirmed a package of seven changes to strengthen NCEA. These changes are:

  • Make NCEA more accessible — zero fees, fewer barriers for learners with disabilities and learning support needs.
  • Mana ōrite mō te mātauranga Māori (equal status for mātauranga Māori in NCEA) – develop new ways to recognise mātauranga Māori, build teacher capability, and improve resourcing and support for Māori learners and te ao Māori pathways.
  • Strengthen literacy and numeracy standards and assessments – ensure students with an NCEA have functional literacy and numeracy skills that will ready them to transition into tertiary education or the workplace.
  • Fewer, larger standards – new achievement standards and resources will be developed to replace existing standards and ensure the qualification achieved credentials the most significant learning in a learning area or subject.
  • Simplify NCEA’s structure – 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. Sixty credits are required to pass each NCEA level.
  • Clearer pathways to further education or work – develop a Vocational Entrance Award to clearly signal when a student is ready to transition into higher level vocational education and strengthen vocational pathways through NCEA.
  • Keep NCEA Level 1 optional – ensure Level 1 provides students with the broad, foundational knowledge needed to support specialisation at Levels 2 and 3.

Learn more about the changes to NCEA:

  1. Make NCEA more accessible
  2. Equal status for mātauranga Māori in NCEA
  3. Strengthen literacy and numeracy requirements and assessments
  4. Fewer, larger standards
  5. Simplify NCEA's structure
  6. Clearer pathways to further education or work
  7. Keep NCEA Level 1 optional