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The National Party has announced general support for the direction of the changes to NCEA announced today by the Government, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“There is still a lot of detail to be worked out, like how many standards will exist in each subject and how big they will be; whether some standards will be essential and detail around assessments including how predictable external assessments will be. National will be following closely, but today’s announcement is a step forward.

“National has previously raised serious concerns about the risk of NCEA Level 1 being scrapped and the requirement of potentially a large chunk of NCEA as compulsory project based learning.

“Schools have made clear to me the importance of retaining NCEA Level 1 so we are pleased it will remain an option for schools. We are also pleased that previous proposals around compulsory project based learning have been withdrawn.

“We value the work of the Professional Advisory Group (PAG) and Ministerial Advisory Group. I want to acknowledge Roger Moses for the work he has done to help guide the review into a much better place. I also want to acknowledge Education Minister Chris Hipkins for the opportunity to be briefed and provide feedback to the review. 

“The strengthening of numeracy and literacy will make a huge difference in the lives of young people, ensuring they have the skills they need to be successful in society. We know that nationally, expectations can and should be higher, and that schools and students will rise to the challenge.

“We have supported the view that there are too many standards, creating large workloads for teachers and students and jeopardising course coherence. We believe it is important to ensure that changes trade a little bit of NCEA’s vast flexibility for fewer, bigger standards that equip young people with the essential knowledge and concepts from each subject area.

“We also support the changes to scrap NCEA and scholarship fees. We understand the importance of reducing costs to students and parents in our education system where possible. The scrapping of fees will reduce barriers to NCEA and will see more young people have their qualifications recognised.

“National has previously made it clear that we want to work constructively with the Government on the review of NCEA, so we are pleased to provide support for the general direction of these changes. We hope we can provide students, parents and educators with further confidence in our qualifications system.”

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