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Turner: NZQA must act for students

Media statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Turner: NZQA must act for students

UnitedFuture deputy leader Judy Turner is calling on the Ministry of Education to give additional guidelines to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority about what to do if parents haven't paid the NCEA registration fee for their children.

"Currently the NZQA will not receive from schools the NCEA results of students whose parents haven't paid the fee and this is disadvantaging school-leavers who can't provide future employers or tertiary providers with evidence of credits gained.

"Some schools are holding onto the information for as long as they can in the interests of ex-students, but there is a very real chance that this information will be lost if the Authority doesn't at least agree to hold the information on record while waiting for payment.

"Beyond that the Authority needs to develop some flexible strategies so that options like having WINZ collect the debt (as is common practise for other unpaid debt matters where a parent is a beneficiary OR allow a student to add the unpaid fee to their tertiary student debt OR allow them to pay it off once employed.)

"It is grossly unfair that school-leavers are hampered in building a future for themselves because of the inability or unwillingness of their parents to support their education," said Mrs Turner.

The fee is $75 but is reduced to $20 for parents who are beneficiaries or hold a community services card.

"Does NZQA or the Ministry have any sense right now of the number of school leavers who do not have their qualifications registered with the Authority and do we have any sense of how long secondary schools are holding onto this data before it is lost forever?" asked Mr Turner.


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