Current Status

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 please refer to the Ministry of Education’s COVID19 page. For more information about COVID-19 alert levels, what it means and more, please go to the COVID-19 website.

All decisions about staff and students must be in line with public health requirements.

The information below provides a summary of the information to support COVID-19 Alert Levels 2, 3 and 4.

Alert Level 2 Advice for schools and wider providers

Alert Level 2 Bulletin - this advice remains accurate for any new Alert Level 2 Announcements

Original Alert Level 2 advice was published in the Ministry of Education's School Bulletin on 12 May 2020. This advice has been updated in March 2021, reflecting changes to schooling and tertiary education guidelines.

Students participating in secondary-tertiary and workplace-based learning courses can attend onsite with these providers – these include Secondary-Tertiary Programmes (more commonly known as Trades Academies), Secondary-Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) funded courses, and Gateway funded work-place learning. Schools can work with the partner provider to confirm onsite and/or distance learning arrangements. Providers may be a tertiary education organisation [TEO], Trades Academy Lead Provider, or employer.

All decisions about staff and students must be in line with Alert Level 2 public health measures and requirements:

  • In secondary education, all young people in Years 11 – 13+ can attend school. This means secondary-tertiary and/or workplace-based learning activities can be undertaken on the school site at the school’s discretion. If the school’s delivery capacity is restricted, schools may wish to prioritise learning activities that cannot be delivered by distance learning over other subjects that can be.
  • There are no restrictions on student/teacher class numbers, however, physical distancing requirements may be required if students attend from other schools, or external individuals support teaching or associated activities where contact tracing cannot easily be carried out.
  • In tertiary education, classes, lectures, labs, workshops, tutorials, noho, and meetings are allowed, but should be strictly managed to ensure public health control measures for TEOs are in place, such as contact tracing. Detailed Guidelines for TEOs can be found on Education.govt.nz website.
  • This means secondary-tertiary learning can be undertaken on the tertiary site, although restrictions may be applied by the TEO to ensure public health control measures are complied with.
  • Close-contact courses can proceed, but should operate in accordance with the public health control measures that apply to that specific occupation (e.g. hairdressing). This applies whether the training is conducted in the workplace, or on-site at a tertiary facility.
  • Workplace-based learning can resume for most businesses and should be managed within the public health control measures that apply to that workplace. You should liaise with the employer delivering the workplace learning to determine their current readiness and any alternative learning options available for students.
  • We recommend that you contact your partner provider (e.g. Trades Academy Lead Provider, or other tertiary delivery partner) to confirm learning arrangements for students under Alert Level 2. Decisions on the specific arrangements for resuming on-site learning in a tertiary or workplace setting will be made on a case-by-case basis by each TEO (or employer) in consultation with school partners.
  • Students/staff may travel locally or to a neighbouring region if the regions share the same alert level to attend classes. Travel between alert level areas is highly limited.
  • Contact details for Trades Academy Lead Providers and TEOs delivering foundation qualifications can be found on the Youth Guarantee website.

Alert Level 3 Advice for schools and wider providers

Alert Level 3 Bulletin - this advice remains accurate for any new Alert Level 3 announcements.

Original Alert Level 3 advice was published in the School Bulletin on 1 May 2020. This advice has been updated in March 2021, reflecting changes to schooling and tertiary education guidelines.

Students participating in secondary-tertiary and workplace based learning courses (Secondary-Tertiary Programmes [more commonly known as Trades Academies], Secondary-Tertiary Alignment Resource [STAR] funded courses and Gateway funded work-placed learning) may in very limited circumstances be able to attend onsite with these providers. You can work with the partner provider to plan for distance learning and/or confirm if there is any onsite learning. Providers may be a tertiary education organisation, Trades Academy Lead Provider, or employer. It is also noted Services Academy operations will not be able to occur as normal.

All decisions about staff and students must be in line with Alert Level 3 public health measures and recommendations: 

  • In secondary education, all young people in Years 11 – 13+ must learn from home. This means no secondary-tertiary or workplace-based learning activities can be undertaken on the school site (no exceptions).
  • In tertiary education, all teaching should be delivered remotely, wherever possible.  Some facilities may open for limited activities involving small groups (up to 20 people including tutor) where it is not possible to deliver teaching remotely.
  • This means some limited secondary-tertiary learning may be able to occur at the tertiary delivery site subject to Ministry of Health guidelines, in particular with regards to physical distancing and hygiene.
  • Decisions on whether specific secondary-tertiary learning arrangements may be able to take place at a tertiary delivery site will be made on a case-by-case basis by each TEO in consultation with school partners.
  • If a tertiary delivery site is open, then students/staff may travel locally or to a neighbouring region if the regions share the same alert level to attend classes. Travel between alert level areas is highly limited.
  • Student attendance at any available tertiary-based onsite learning will be at the students, parents/whānau and school discretion. Detailed Guidelines for TEOs can be found on Education.govt.nz website.
  • All workplace-based learning is subject to the policies and practices being applied to that work setting. Onsite or face-to-face learning should not proceed, except in very limited circumstances where the workplace can continue its operations. You should liaise with the employer delivering the work-place learning to determine their current readiness and any alternative learning options available for students.
  • Contact details for Trades Academy Lead Providers and TEOs delivering foundation qualifications can be found on the Youth Guarantee website.

Communication

We encourage schools and Secondary Tertiary Programme Lead Providers to ensure they have clear processes in place to communicate with each other, so that schools and providers are best able to support students.

Alternative learning options

As a part of preparation for delivering students’ education online, we advise that the school’s Gateway Coordinator put in place alternative learning options for these students. For example, the Gateway Coordinator should provide the affected students with additional theory material to complete until they are able to go back to the workplace.

Secondary Tertiary Programme Lead Providers should also provide online alternative learning options for students and consider restructured learning plans where possible in the event the alert Level declines.

The Ministry continues to look at ways we can support schools and Secondary Tertiary Programme Lead Providers to deliver alternate learning options.

Further information and resources regarding distance learning are available at the Learning from home website and the Kauwhata Reo website.

Funding

Secondary Tertiary Programmes will continue to be funded where a student remains enrolled in the course, even if the tertiary component part of the course is postponed till later in the year (as it would be for block course learning as an example).

If School Lead Providers or schools have any concerns with their Secondary Tertiary Programme/Trades Academy funding and delivery they should contact Trades.Academy@education.govt.nz. Tertiary Lead Providers with similar concerns should contact their TEC Relationship Manager or Advisor.

Schools with concerns around Gateway should contact customerservice@tec.govt.nz.

The Ministry will provide further national advice in due course. This advice will include support that can be provided to students.

The advice provided above can also be applied to Secondary-Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) courses, where participation and courses offered are determined by the school directly.

Alert Level 4 Advice for schools and wider providers

Alert Level 4

Original Alert Level 4 advice was published on Wednesday 25 March. This advice remains accurate for any new Alert Level 4 announcements.

Under Alert Level 4 schools across New Zealand will be physically closed entirely. Tertiary Institutions will also be expected to close.

Schools are encouraged to provide distance education where possible.

Businesses, except for essential services, are also to be closed, and everybody except essential workers will go into self-isolation.

These measures will be in place in line with Ministry of Health Guidelines.

In these conditions, Secondary Tertiary Programmes (Trades Academies) will not be able to occur as normal and Gateway activities will need to be suspended. It is also noted Services Academy operations will not be able to occur as normal.

For more information on the COVID-19 alert levels, what it means and more, please go COVID-19 website. Please also see the Ministry of Education website for COVID-19 updates and what this means for the education system.

See advice above in Alert Level 3 section covering communication, alternative learning options and funding.

If School Lead Providers or schools have any concerns with their Secondary Tertiary Programme/Trades Academy funding and delivery they should contact Trades.Academy@education.govt.nz. Tertiary Lead Providers with similar concerns should contact their TEC Relationship Manager or Advisor.

Schools with concerns around Gateway should contact customerservice@tec.govt.nz.

The advice provided above can also be applied to Secondary-Tertiary Alignment Resource (STAR) courses, where participation and courses offered are determined by the school directly.