Education Minister Chris Hipkins defends NCEA review process

Minister of Education Chris Hipkins has defended the NCEA review consultation process, saying they haven't even started the assessment yet.

His comments come after a full page letter appeared in Sunday newspapers from a new principal coalition. It said the four months allocated for the review wasn't long enough and the process was a "failed" one.

In a press stand up on Sunday afternoon, Mr Hipkins said it can't be a failed process before it has even started.

"I don't think you can fail someone when you haven't done the assessment yet, we've started the study but we haven't completed the assessment. I think that it's putting the cart before the horse."

He also reassured that principals would be involved in the review.

Only one of the seven people on the review board is a principal, but Mr Hipkins says they have consulted many different experts.

"Ultimately this isn't just about principals, it's important they are involved in the process but we've got to involve everybody who has an interest in it as well." 

Mr Hipkins says he was a little disappointed by the letter and that he disagrees with the coalition's perspectives on not involving young people.

"I do disagree with the principal's view that the voices of young people are not important in this process, I do believe it is important that young people are heard throughout this and they've got a different perspective to that of principals and have every right to be fully involved in it."

He also said the letter didn't come as a surprise, as a few of the signatories are known for their "traditional" views on NCEA.

When asked if he believed the letter represented a minority view, he said the initial support from the education sector was overwhelming.

"I do understand not everybody is going to be paddling in the same direction on this, but that's what the process is about. We want to hear from everybody and make sure everyone's views are captured in the process."

Public consultation is open until September 16, and Mr Hipkins will report to Cabinet with recommendations in February next year.


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