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NCEA fails homeschooled students

NCEA fails homeschooled students - Mallard oblivious

Monday 21 Feb 2005

Deborah Coddington - Press Releases - Education

The NCEA qualifications system has totally overlooked families who homeschool their children, and Trevor Mallard just turned a blind eye, ACT's Education spokesman Deborah Coddington said today

"Parents who removed their children from state schools, but still had to sit NCEA, were forced to go through Special Education Services and have their children assessed as having a problem because they were bullied just to avoid forking out thousands of dollars to the Correspondence School.

"This process took more than 12 months. At least one parent, out of frustration from not hearing from the Ministry of Education, wrote to Trevor Mallard in March 2003. The Minister referred him to the NCEA website and told him he'd have to link with the local state school for assessment - the very school where the pupil had been bullied and couldn't return to," Miss Coddington said.

"When the parent approached other schools in the region, none were willing to take on a homeschooled student for NCEA assessment because they receive no extra funding for doing so.

"It took until June 2004, more than 12 months, for this student to finally jump through all the hoops necessary to sit NCEA. He missed half the school year for an exam he didn't want but is forced to because this Government dictates a one-size-fits-all state-run qualifications system.

Miss Coddington said about 10,000 students are home-schooled in New Zealand. For each NCEA subject they have to pay $400 to the Correspondence School. The only alternative is to go through a psychiatric assessment and qualify for special education needs.

"Parents who educate their children at home actually save the Government money. They should be rewarded, not punished. And their children should not be stigmatised by being forced through special needs education services," said Miss Coddington.

ENDS


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