COVID-19 Updates and Resources

Covid-19 Update from the Ministry of Education
COVID-19 #4 - 30 Mar 2020

Responding to the COVID-19 pandemic

As school leaders, you are an important part of our wider education sector family. I would like to take this opportunity to update you about how the Ministry of Education’s NCEA Review Team is playing its part in protecting the safety and well-being of our fellow New Zealanders during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Following the Prime Minister’s address on Monday, placing all of New Zealand in lockdown for the next four weeks, we have placed on hold most of our sector engagement work through the NCEA Review and, in particular, the Review of Achievement Standards (RAS).

Although the implementation timelines of the NCEA Change Programme have not changed at this time, we recognise that the pandemic situation remains fluid. We are constantly monitoring the situation and will be in touch again when we have updates.

Our staff are working from home and focussed on supporting schools to deliver distance teaching and learning. This week, we launched two complementary websites to support learning from home: Learning from home and Ki te Ao Mārama ( and

Targeted support for students, teachers and schools

We are also working to provide targeted support to students, parents, teachers and schools to ensure quality teaching and learning continue in the event of a prolonged school closure. We recognise that school closures cause significant disruptions for students, families and schools, and seek to minimise these disruptions, if possible.

In line with this, we intend to survey schools next week to identify regions and schools that need targeted support, and determine what resources schools need to support their senior secondary students, particularly in delivering distance learning.

We’d like to thank you in advance for supporting the survey and providing the information we need.

Mitigating the impact on NCEA

Together with NZQA, we will help schools and wharekura develop effective plans for NCEA assessment and qualifications for students affected by the COVID-19 outbreak, including supporting distance learning.

NCEA’s flexibility is its strength and means that we can adapt how we deliver and use NCEA to reflect our current context – including distance learning.

We will be supporting schools to use this flexibility in how they manage internal assessment through distance learning, and to generate grades derived from learning programmes should attendance at external assessments be disrupted.

Work is also underway to make sure that all qualifications, awards and pathways (including University Entrance and Vocational Pathways) will remain available through any disruptions.

For students taking part in Trades Academies and Gateway Programmes, further information can be found at

NZQA has already provided schools guidance on how to manage disruptions to internal and external assessments due to the COVID-19 outbreak. Further information is available on the NZQA website ( or through your school’s Principal’s Nominee. Queries can be emailed to

Contact details

If you have any queries in the meantime, please email

For health-related COVID-19 information, please visit

In these uncertain times, I urge you to take care of your own families, yourselves and your community.

Ngā mihi nui,

Jackie Talbot
Group Manager, Secondary Tertiary
Ministry of Education


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