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

On Wednesday 13 May at 11.59 pm, New Zealand moved to Alert Level 2 – COVID-19 website.

Under Alert Level 2, schools will be open for students to attend from Monday 18 May. Tertiary Education Organisations can commence learning from Thursday 14 May. Students will continue to have the option to learn remotely where they are required to remain at home.

New Zealand will remain at Alert Level 2 for two weeks with Cabinet reviewing this Alert Level on 25 May.

In these conditions, most Secondary Tertiary Programmes (Trades Academies) and Gateway activities can recommence as normal, but some restrictions may apply. 

For more specific advice around the alert Level 2 arrangements for secondary-tertiary and work-place learning please refer to the Ministry of Education School Bulletin message published on 12 May 2020. The Bulletin content is also published on this website - Alert Level 2 arrangements for secondary-tertiary and work-place learning students.

Changes to Gateway programme requirements and reporting was published on the Tertiary Education Commission website on 21 May 2020.

Alert Level 3 Bulletin and Other COVID-19 Advice provided during March-April 2020

Alert Level 3 Bulletin

Previous Alert Level 3 advice was published in the School Bulletin on 1 May 2020.


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