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SSC Comment On Release Of NZQA Review

Comment On Release Of NZQA Review

Tony Hartevelt, the Deputy State Services Commissioner, today released the report by Doug Martin and his Review Team on the 2004 Scholarship. This forms the first part of the review into matters relating to the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, as requested by the Associate Minister of Education.

Tony Hartevelt says the Review team received more than 240 group and individual submissions from students, teachers and members of the public. The Review team also consulted with a wide range of stakeholders, including running a workshop to test preliminary findings.

Tony Hartevelt says the main findings of the Review are:

* The difficulties experienced with the 2004 Scholarship resulted from inadequacies in policy advice and implementation. Neither the Ministry of Education nor NZQA took a sufficiently well coordinated or focused approach with the result that implementation became fragmented.

* The Government received inadequate advice on the policy risks associated with the 2004 Scholarship and was not provided with adequate advice on the strategic risks associated with implementing Level 3 NCEA and Scholarship in the same year.

* Officials were focused on operational risks and lost sight of the higher level implementation risks which impacted on outcomes for the 2004 Scholarship. Strategies to mitigate these risks were not identified and put into effect to ensure a fair result for students.

* Expectations of Ministers were not aligned with those of officials in the Ministry of Education and the NZQA and the Scholarship 2004 outcome therefore came as a surprise to both Ministers and the wider public.

Tony Hartevelt said that the report provides a comprehensive set of practical recommendations for NZQA and the Ministry of Education to now act on.

"Time is of the essence in implementing the 2005 Scholarship. This report is being released now to enable the Ministry of Education and NZQA to act on improving outcomes for teachers and students in 2005/2006. "I expect it will help settle the environment for students and teachers in 2005.

"The report makes it clear that the significant difficulties with implementing the 2004 Scholarship need to be seen in the context of the wider reforms in New Zealand's secondary schools. The introduction of three levels of NCEA, plus the new Scholarship, has been a massive undertaking that required a complex change management process. The transition to the new learning approach will continue for at least the next five years.

"The Review Team is now proceeding with the second part of the Terms of Reference, to review the performance of NZQA in respect of school sector qualifications. This phase of work is due to report at the end of July," Tony Hartevelt said.

Review report The Review report and background terms of reference is available online at http://www.ssc.govt.nz/report-2004-scholarship

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