NZ’s largest high school ditches NCEA

The largest high school in the country, Rangitoto College, has pulled out of the refreshed NCEA Level One for 2024.

More schools are choosing to ditch NCEA Level One sending an embarrassing vote of no confidence in the education minister and Labour, says National’s Education spokesperson Erica Stanford.

“Labour’s rewriting of NCEA has been a disaster from start to finish. The Minister is trying to save face by rolling out NCEA Level One next year but delaying Levels Two and Three until 2026 which means a huge misalignment in the curriculum that will negatively impact students learning.

“The Minister has put politics ahead of the best interests of our young people and schools and parents have had enough.

“The largest high school in the country Rangitoto College, has pulled out of the refreshed NCEA Level One for 2024, introducing their own diploma to ensure a logical and coherent learning program for their students.

“This follows other schools such as St Cuthbert’s withdrawing from the refreshed Level One after what they believed was a dumbing down of the standards.

“Principals across New Zealand are sending a resounding message to the Government that they have no confidence in Labour’s NCEA changes.

“Despite the NCEA refresh costing hundreds of millions of dollars, and employing 200 Ministry staff and countless working groups, schools are choosing to implement their own programs to guarantee successful outcomes for their students.

“This is the ultimate embarrassment for the government. Jan Tinetti should immediately pause the shambolic roll-out of her NCEA Change Program and listen to schools and principals.

The Government announced (in April) it was prioritising maths and literacy learning by introducing new assessments from next year, while shifting the timeframes of other changes to NCEA and the national curriculum, Education Minister Jan Tinetti said.

This follows feedback from teachers and principals and the NCEA Professional Advisory Group (PAG) which has recommended these changes.

“As Minister of Education, my bottom line is to ensure our young people are getting the education they need and deserve. This includes giving students, along with their parents and employers, confidence that they are leaving school with a strong foundation in maths and literacy,” Tinetti said.

“Currently there are over 500 maths and 100 literacy standards. From next year there will be a list of the essential and foundational maths and literacy assessment standards that a student must achieve in order to pass NCEA.

“But in order to get this right we are easing the pressure on teachers by slowing down the wider implementation of NCEA level 2 and 3 and re-focusing the work to refresh the curriculum.

“We’ll prioritise mathematics, English, te reo Māori and pāngarau areas of the curriculum, by deferring the requirement for schools to implement the other areas by one year. The refresh and redesign of the curriculum will continue on existing timeframes and be available to all schools from 2026, but teaching it won’t be compulsory until 2027.