Current Status

On Monday 8 June at 11.59 pm, New Zealand moved to alert Level 1. For more information on the 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 COVID-19 website.

Under Alert Level 1, all schools and Tertiary Education Organisations will be open for students to attend. In these conditions, Secondary Tertiary Programmes (Trades Academies) and Gateway activities can recommence as normal.

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

Alert Level 2 Advice for schools and wider providers

Alert Level 2 Bulletin

The Alert Level 2 advice was published in the Ministry of Education's School Bulletin on 12 May 2020. Content is also included below.

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 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. 
  • 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 may resume and 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.
  • Contact details for Trades Academy Lead Providers and TEOs delivering foundation qualifications can be found on the Youth Guarantee website.

Previous Alert Level 3 Advice for schools and wider providers

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.