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Research Shows NCEA Is Working for Students

Research Shows NCEA Is Working for Students

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today welcomed the positive results of research into the NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) that shows students across the board are achieving more and aiming higher.

The research into the NCEA is being carried out by The New Zealand Council for Educational Research. The interim report based on this research is entitled “From Cabbages to Kings”. It looks at how Level 1 of the NCEA has worked for year 11 students in six representative schools. “The research is great news, and reflects what the NCEA is all about. It shows that the NCEA is encouraging students from the lower end of the spectrum to lift their achievement, and it’s challenging students with more ability to aim even higher,” Trevor Mallard said.

“This is proof that the NCEA is not dumbing down students, as has been claimed. It’s helping students across the board to achieve even more.”

The findings also show the introduction of the NCEA has triggered fundamental changes to how schools meet student learning needs. It shows positive support for the NCEA, relating to wider choice of options and courses offered to students.

The report shows students in the case study schools:

have access to a wider range of subject courses; are offered an increased number of alternatives within compulsory subjects to better meet their individual learning needs; are encouraged to value learning and lift achievement levels.

“An interesting factor was that NCEA was stretching the most able students as well as providing qualifications for those who previously got none.

“The report notes the difficulties experienced by teachers in the implementation stage. We’re addressing those problems and putting in place extra teacher training to make the transition easier,” Trevor Mallard said. The full report “From Cabbages to Kings” can be viewed or downloaded at

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