COVID-19 STP/Trades Academy and Gateway Update for Schools and Providers

On Wednesday 25 March, New Zealand moved to alert Level 4 – COVID-19 website.

Schools and Tertiary Institutions across New Zealand are physically closed from Wednesday 25 March.

Schools are encouraged to provide distance education where possible, and school holidays will start early from March 30 to 14 April inclusive.

Businesses, except for essential services, are also to be closed, and everybody except essential workers are now in self-isolation from Wednesday 25 March.

These measures will be in place for the next four weeks, two of which will count as school holidays.

In these conditions, Secondary Tertiary Programmes (Trades Academies) will not be able to occur as normal and Gateway activities will need to be suspended.

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.


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 at this time.

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 later this year.

The Ministry is also looking 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. 


During the announcement at 1:30pm on Tuesday 23 March, Minister Hipkins announced that Parliament would seek a supply bill to allow funding to continue to flow to all providers and that there would be no funding returns required for non-attendance or failure to meet benchmarks.

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 Tertiary Lead Providers with similar concerns should contact their TEC Relationship Manager or Advisor.

Schools with concerns around Gateway should contact

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.

Purpose of Gateway

The purpose of Gateway is to enable schools to provide senior students (years 11–13+) with opportunities to access structured workplace learning that has:

  • a formalised learning arrangement set in the workplace;
  • specified knowledge and skills that a student will attain; and
  • specified assessment methods (workplace learning).

Schools should align their Gateway programmes to the Vocational Pathways, where possible. The Vocational Pathways provide a useful tool for course planning to provide cohesive learning options that are recommended by industry and also help students to plan their future career opportunities.

The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) provides Gateway funding to meet the costs state secondary schools, state-integrated secondary schools, or partnership schools|kura hourua incur in arranging and managing workplace learning, including assessment. For more information about Gateway funding, go to:

Gateway - Tertiary Education Commission