18 May 2019

Proposed law change would stop private schools, tertiary institutions offering NCEA overseas

4:18 pm on 18 May 2019

The Ministry of Education has proposed a law change to prevent private schools and tertiary institutions offering the NCEA school qualification overseas.

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The Ministry of Education has proposed a law change stopping certain organisations offering NCEA overseas. Photo: Supplied

It said the Education Act already stopped state schools from awarding the National Certificate of Educational Achievement to students in other countries, but that prohibition did not cover private schools and tertiary institutions.

A consultation document on the proposed change said NCEA required high levels of quality assurance and moderation and awarding it overseas created risks to the quality of teaching and assessment.

"The delivery of NCEA offshore could create a risk to New Zealand's educational reputation and perceptions of the quality and robustness of the NCEA qualification, both in New Zealand and offshore," the document said.

It said the ministry should be able to fine organisations that broke the rules," the consultation document said.

"It is proposed that appropriate sanctions be created, such as offences punishable by fines. We are seeking your views on what the sanctions should be and if they include offences, what the maximum fines should be,"

Ministry of Education deputy secretary education system policy Dr Andrea Schollmann told RNZ News the only New Zealand institution offering NCEA overseas was Te Kura, the Correspondence School, but other organisations had indicated they wanted to provide the qualification.

"In recent years, some schools and PTEs have expressed interest in the possibility of offering NCEA offshore, but we are not aware that anyone is currently doing this, apart from the Cook Islands and Niue, where agreements are in place which enable secondary schools in those countries to award NCEA."

The ministry's consultation document said it was seeking submissions on the proposed change before the government made a decision on whether to include it in a bill.

It said exceptions to the ban would allow correspondence schools and foreign governments with agreements with the New Zealand government to offer NCEA overseas.

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