Supporting change in our schools and kura

Issue: Volume 103, Number 2

Posted: 22 February 2024
Reference #: 1HAfCg

During terms 1 and 2, schools and kura will be making any changes that are necessary to implement the Government’s new education policies. The Ministry of Education, directors of education and their teams are available to provide advice and support.

Supporting change in our schools and kura

Phones away for the day

As soon as possible in term 1, 2024, and no later than the start of term 2, new regulations require that all schools and kura have rules in place so that ākonga do not use or access a personal phone while attending school, including during lunch time and breaks. This change has been introduced to remove distractions and to help maximise class time to lift achievement.

Schools can make their own decisions around managing this change after consultation with their communities.

This includes where phones are kept, processes around any breaches of their rules, and the procedure for managing exemptions.

Schools must allow ākonga access to a phone if needed for health reasons, to assist with a learning support need or disability, or in special circumstances. The Education Review Office (ERO) will begin monitoring the new regulations from term 2, 2024.

Many schools and kura already have existing phone rules; these will just need updating to reflect the new regulations.

For more information and guidance for boards, principals, and teachers, visit the Ministry website: 

Phones away for the day(external link)

"One hour a day’ – reading, writing, and maths

From the start of term 1, schools and kura with ākonga in Years 0–8 are required to teach reading, writing and maths, or pānui, tuhituhi, and pāngarau, for an average of at least one hour a day in each subject.

It’s important to safeguard time for teaching and learning these foundational skills, as they’re used across all areas of the curriculum and are needed for ākonga to do well in school.

Teaching techniques like investigations, collaborative learning, and games can continue to be used to reinforce and extend that instruction.

Specialist schools and some kura (those with specified boards) will introduce this rule as soon as practicable but have an extended timeframe (term 1, 2025, and term 3, 2024 respectively).

The Ministry of Education is providing guidance and support for schools and kura through curriculum leads and leadership advisors.

Curriculum hub – Tāhūrangi(external link)

Review of English and mathematics and statistics

The Government has established a Ministerial Advisory Group to review the mathematics and statistics and English learning areas of The New Zealand Curriculum for Years 0–8.

The group will provide the Minister with recommendations on these learning areas, the draft Common Practice Model, and phase-by-phase guidance for teachers.

It will also provide clarity on year-by-year teaching expectations and how teachers embed effective practices that reflect the science of learning, and this will inform future decisions.

Schools and kura will still be required to use the refreshed mathematics and statistics and English learning areas from the start of 2025.

It’s important to safeguard time for teaching and learning the foundational skills of reading, writing and maths, or pānui, tuhituhi, and pāngarau.

It’s important to safeguard time for teaching and learning the foundational skills of reading, writing and maths, or pānui, tuhituhi, and pāngarau.

Support for NCEA 100-day action plan changes

In December 2023, the Government requested that additional resources and supports be made available to schools to help implement the new NCEA Level 1 Achievement Standards in 2024.

The Ministry received help from a range of subject associations and subject experts to create these additional resources. Reflecting this input, the available resources now look slightly different. 

On the NCEA website, schools can find: 

  • Subject Learning Outcomes (SLO) documents to help identify the knowledge and skills that should be taught for each Level 1 Achievement Standard.
  • Ngā Putanga Ako for each wāhanga ako, which lays out the mātauranga and skills being assessed in ngā Kaupae 1 Paerewa Paetae.
  • a teacher guide that kaiako can use to walk through all of the resources available to support their implementation of NCEA Level 1.

Also available will be: Writing, maths

  • Links to NCEA Level 1 subject associations to help kaiako access resources developed by pilot teachers, to be added throughout February.
  • Registration details about subject-specific and wāhanga ako workshops for kaiako which will be offered through term 1. These will be largely online, after school, led by NCEA implementation facilitators with support from subject associations to support kaiako with the subject changes. 
  • Exemplars for NCEA Level 1 Achievement Standards and Paerewa Paetae, developed by NZQA. 

The Ministry welcomes feedback on the new supports and will continue to work with subject associations on them, following comments from schools and kura.

For questions, email link). The Ministry intends to develop similar supports for NCEA Levels 2 and 3 in due course. 

To be awarded any level of NCEA, the requirement that learners will need to achieve the new 20-credit NCEA Co-requisite remains the same. This involves the assessment of NCEA foundational literacy and numeracy skills. Learners only need to complete the co-requisite once. They can attempt the co-requisite multiple times.

During 2024 and 2025, learners will be able to meet the 20-credit
co-requisite through achieving either the new standards in Literacy-Writing, Literacy-Reading, Numeracy, Te Reo Matatini, and Pāngarau or by gaining 20 credits from a small list of literacy and numeracy-rich standards.

This will allow schools, kura and all NCEA providers time to adjust to the changes.

Any credits learners already have can be used towards the new NCEA qualifications, and there is no time limit on completing NCEA. If learners gain part of their qualification, they can return to study at any time. Course and certificate endorsement requirements also remain the same.

Early childhood education (ECE) changes

The Government has decided that the 4.6% increase to 20 Hours ECE funding rates announced in Budget 2023 will go ahead, and retained the funding condition that home-based educators can charge parents top up payments.

It has however decided, as signalled in October, not to extend 20 Hours ECE to 2-year-olds.

The Ministry and Te Mahau regional offices will continue to support schools and kura with information and guidance with any more education changes announced by the new Government in the coming months.

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 9:55 am, 22 February 2024

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