School must say no to senior pupils

By Yvonne Tahana

A school in the Far North will be forced to shut its doors to senior students. Photo / Gerard O'Brien
A school in the Far North will be forced to shut its doors to senior students. Photo / Gerard O'Brien

A Far North school will be forced to shut its doors to senior students - a move its principal says amounts to bullying because of its previous anti-National Standards stance.

However, the Ministry of Education believes it has no choice given a damning audit on NCEA results.

Moerewa School takes Year 1 pupils through to school leavers. From term 2, 17 students who are in Years 11-13 must enrol in other high schools.

Senior students have been taught via a satellite agreement with Kia Aroha College in Otara.

Last year, Moerewa School said interim NCEA results revealed a 93 per cent pass rate for Year 11 students, an 83 per cent pass rate for Year 12 and a 100 per cent pass rate for Year 13.

But a Qualifications Authority investigation found an 11 per cent achievement rate at level one and 33 per cent achievement rates at levels two and three.

Ministry of Education deputy secretary of regional operations Nicholas Pole said schools were legally required to ensure examinations were assessed correctly.

Moerewa principal Keri Milne-Ihimaera said it was unbelievable that students had waited months for the audit's results. Asked about the variance between NZQA and teachers' marking, she said some students failed their qualifications for the want of a few credits. However, the school was prepared to "up its game" and improve its processes.

The school had been a strident critic of National Standards, which apply to primary schools.

"It feels like we're being bullied, absolutely," Ms Milne-Ihimaera said.

The school has now included National Standards in its charter.

- NZ Herald

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