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NCEA: Ministry gave no advice on changes

Hon Bill English National Party Education Spokesman

16 December 2005

NCEA: Ministry gave no advice on changes

National's Education spokesman, Bill English, says it's no wonder NZQA's move to re-mark exams to reach predetermined pass rates has been messy, when the Government's own policy agency has given no advice on the matter.

Documents obtained by Mr English using the Official Information Act show the Ministry of Education provided no advice to the Government on the variability of pass rates in NCEA or on the changes announced by NZQA.

Mr English says that seems very odd.

"The variability of NCEA exam results was the single biggest issue for the education sector in 2005, so why hasn't the Ministry provided the Minister with any advice on the issue?

"One of the main recommendations to come out of the inquiry into last year's NCEA was that the Ministry and the NZQA needed to work together more closely.

"In light of that, I would have expected to find the Ministry of Education giving extensive advice to the Government on the change to setting pass rates before exams began.

"If our two key education agencies cannot work together to ensure quality and consistency in our national secondary schools qualification, it will be a very long time before the NCEA is meaningful and fair to the students who work hard to achieve it," says Mr English.

ENDS

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