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Budget 2003: NCEA, NZQA receives injection

Budget 2003: NCEA, NZQA receive multi-million dollar injection

Education Minister Trevor Mallard today announced a pre-budget package of initiatives totalling nearly $78 million in new spending over four years to support the NCEA (National Certificate of Educational Achievement) and the administration of other qualifications.

About $7 million of the new funding will go towards reducing exam fees for more students – those from low and middle-income families, and with more than one student entering qualifications this year. “After year one, results from the NCEA show secondary teachers have been most successful in making the new system work. The results have been welcomed by students, teachers, parents and employers as providing for the first time a comprehensive picture of students’ educational achievement. I want this good work to continue,” Trevor Mallard said.

“One of lessons learned from last year was a need to simplify the way schools interact with NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) to ensure NCEA runs smoothly and effectively for everyone who is involved.

“Today’s initiatives are aimed at providing better support for schools, teachers and students.”

Nearly $36 million in new spending over four years will go to NZQA to administer assessment for secondary qualifications, including the NCEA. The funding will also develop support documentation for all national qualifications, and streamline business operations; New spending of $15 million over four years will fund an increase in the capability of software for school administration systems, including the ability of secondary and area schools to better manage NCEA data; New operational funding of $2.4 million over four years will support schools by assisting them with NCEA-related costs. The funding acknowledges the increased costs that schools with Year 11-15 students have experienced as a result of the introduction of the NCEA; New funding of $6.5 million next year will replace and update NZQA’s Information Systems. This funding will enable NZQA to improve business processes and IT systems. It will also significantly enhance students’ record of learning, and support entries, results and examinations; An extra $11.63 million over four years will go towards NZQA’s core functions; The Government will supplement the current funding for Ministry of Education co-ordinated NCEA professional development for teachers, by $0.505 million, bringing the total to $14.4 million over four years.

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New spending of about $7 million over four years will be invested in giving exam fee remissions to students:-

whose parents or caregivers are beneficiaries, or have incomes below the income threshold for receipt of a Community Services Card; in families with two or more children undertaking qualifications assessment in the same year, irrespective of income.

The new fee schedule is as follows: a single processing fee of $35 for NCEA and the National Qualifications Framework, and $45 for University Bursaries for students whose parents or caregivers are beneficiaries, or who are on or below the following income thresholds: $51,022 (6-person family), $45,952 (5-person family), $40,883 (4-person family), $35,815 (3-person family) and $30,748 (2-person family). Where two or more students from a family are entering for qualifications in 2003, the fee will be $100 per student, but no family will pay more than $200. For all other students: the fee will remain a flat fee of $150 for the National Qualifications Framework, including NCEA and Sixth Form Certificate (transitional), for more then 48 credits, and $75 for fewer than 48 credits. For University Entrance, Bursaries and Scholarship, the fee will remain $45 (administration) plus $28 per subject.

“One of our goals with the new NCEA qualification is to increase the numbers of students involved in assessment for qualifications. We are committed to providing a flexible high quality system and it is important that fees are not a barrier for students from low to middle income families,” Trevor Mallard said.

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