Illustration of a koru

Children and young people are learning and developing

Lead agency: 
Ministry of Education
From May 2019

In May 2019, a package of seven changes to NCEA was announced, aimed at strengthening this key qualification for secondary school students, so it best meets student needs. 

Since then, new NCEA Level 1 standards have been developed for four subjects (English, Science, Religious Studies and Visual Arts) through a Trial and Pilots process, in preparation for rebuilding NCEA standards and resources across all subjects. Māori Performing Arts NCEA Levels 1, 2 and 3 have also been developed.

Consultation is ongoing, with four NCEA Panels established to ensure a broad range of stakeholders – including Māori, Pacific communities, advocates for vocational pathways, and organisations advocating for people with disabilities – have a voice in the design and implementation of the NCEA changes.  Feedback hubs have also been established in a small number of schools across New Zealand to seek feedback from students, teachers, school leaders, parents, whānau, Board of Trustees and other members of the school community.

While work on the NCEA change programme has been ongoing during COVID-19, most sector engagement work for the NCEA Review (including the Review of Achievement Standards) was put on hold. As a result, new NCEA Level 1 standards will now be developed and trialled in 2022. 

The changes will be phased in over five years, with new achievement standards at Levels 1, 2 and 3 in place by January 2025.

Find out more