Supporting students towards NCEA Level 2

Issue: Volume 96, Number 9

Posted: 29 May 2017
Reference #: 1H9dDn

It may no longer be an official Better Public Service (BPS) target but the drive to have 85 per cent of 18-year-olds with NCEA Level 2, or an equivalent qualification, remains. So why is it important that there continues to be such a strong focus on NCEA Level 2 or its equivalent for teachers, school leaders and government? And what support is there for those helping young people to achieve at this level?

Recent changes

The Government announced new BPS targets on 3 May 2017, focused on the progress of primary school children in mathematics and writing. This development also acknowledged the success of previous BPS targets set in 2012, including NCEA Level 2 achievement. The percentage of 18-year-olds with this level of qualification is now at a record high.

The reason it became a target, and why it remains a focus point in the education system, is that it is the foundation qualification that all young people need to access further work,
training, and education. This in turn increases their chances at a better quality of life and their health outcomes. So it remains as important as ever for teachers, principals, boards, tertiary providers, parents, whānau, iwi and government to build on recent improvements.

Keeping up the hard work

Given the impact this qualification has on a young person’s life, it is still an essential part of the Ministry of Education’s work with schools and other education providers. Youth Guarantee programmes are continuing, including Vocational Pathways and Trades Academies, to name a few. There are now 24 trades academies with around 6,190 places for students; a 10-fold increase since 2011.

The Ministry will monitor NCEA results as it has previously, and parents still have access to their school’s results through the Education Counts website(external link).

From term 3 this year (2017), the Education Review Office (ERO) will also look at how teachers and school leaders support the learning needs of all children and young people towards achieving at least NCEA Level 2.

A growing range of resources and support

There have been several changes in recent years, to support teachers, school leaders, parents, whānau and iwi to identify students’ learning needs at an earlier age.

There are now 1,630 schools in 197 Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako; designed so that teachers can better share great teaching practices within and between schools. The new Local Curriculum Design Smart Tool was developed to help Kāhui Ako create curricula that meet their students’ needs.

Other tools were recently developed to help all teachers and school leaders to monitor students’ progress and achievement as they move towards NCEA Level 2, and give parents good information about how their children are doing. These include the Learning Progression Frameworks (LPF), the Progress and Consistency Tool (PaCT), and Te Waharoa Ararau (TWA).

Last year the Government announced $43 million in additional funding over four years for schools supporting students most at risk of underachievement. Secondary schools can use this funding to help more students achieve NCEA Level 2 or equivalent qualifications.

Read more about available support on the Ministry of Education’s website(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero,

Posted: 6:54 pm, 29 May 2017

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