Guidance on education during each Alert Level, including distance learning and sending children to school.

Education information at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, Early Learning Centres, schools and tertiary education facilities are open for all age groups.

Following the announcement of a case of community transmission in Auckland, early learning services and schools remain open.

Some education providers are operating under different conditions so we recommend you check in with your own provider.

Stay safe at Alert Level 1

At Alert Level 1, we still need to play it safe. We all need to be ready in case COVID-19 comes back into the community.

To be ready at Alert Level 1:

  • practise good hygiene
  • stay home if you’re sick
  • get tested if you have cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms
  • keep track of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen.

Get more advice on living at Alert Level 1, including keeping your distance, wearing face coverings and contact tracing for businesses

Education information at Alert Level 2

At Alert Level 2, early learning centres, schools and tertiary education facilities are open for all age groups.

If an educational facility is connected to a confirmed or probable case of COVID-19, it legally must close temporarily, if advised by the public health unit, to allow for contact tracing.

Children or young people legally must stay home if they:

  • are unwell
  • have COVID-19 symptoms
  • are self-isolating
  • are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test.

Distance learning will be available for any students not able to attend school.

Children, young people and teachers do not need to wear face coverings at school. This is because the risk of infection within the school environment is low.

Face coverings

Early learning services and schools

All early learning centres and schools are physically open including for years 11 to 13. Distance learning will be available for those who cannot attend school, for example where people are self-isolating.

Early learning centres and schools are safe environments for children, young people and staff. Additional public health control measures are in place to prevent the spread of disease and to support contact tracing.

Tertiary education

Tertiary education facilities are open.

Tertiary education is a safe environment for students and staff to return to at Alert Level 2. Tertiary education facilities will implement public health requirements and physical distancing and will provide a safe environment where students can continue their learning. They will maintain distance learning capability for staff and students who need it.

Workplace-based learning will follow the rules that apply to the relevant industry.

Education information at Alert level 3

Early learning, primary and secondary schools

Under Alert Level 3 it will be safe for early learning/education centres and schools to open for children up to and including Year 10, with appropriate public health measures in place. All young people in years 11 to 13 will continue to learn at home.

Where possible, we recommend that students remain at home and continue distance learning. Where parents or caregivers need to, they can send their children to school. Schools will be a safe place for children to go to learn if their parents need to return to work, or the children cannot learn at a distance.

Home-based early learning services can resume up to the maximum number of licensed children of 4, including the educators’ own children, provided they meet public health requirements.

Play centres and playgroups will be closed.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves and masks are not necessary for a school environment. We recommend that children, young people and staff who are at greater risk stay at home. We also recommend any child, young person or staff member who is sick remain at home.

Some schools and early learning services may need extra time to get ready to open after we go to Alert Level 3.

Schools will look different under Alert Level 3. There will be far fewer students on the grounds, and they will stay within their small groups. The small groups will help to maintain physical distancing.

Some teachers will be teaching students at school, while others will support distance learning. For those small number of children attending school, the learning experience will be different to “normal” school.

Home Learning TV | Papa Kāinga TV and Mauri Reo, Mauri Ora

Home Learning TV | Papa Kāinga TV and Mauri Reo, Mauri Ora will support the learning of tamariki and rangatahi at Alert Level 3.

Home Learning TV | Papa Kāinga TV will take over TVNZ DUKE's daytime schedule between 9am and 1pm on weekdays, with programmes and lessons for children aged 2 to 11 years.

DUKE is available on:

Content will be available for catch up viewing on TVNZ OnDemand.

Check the schedule and access lesson plans (external link)

Mauri Reo Mauri Ora will air at Alert Level 3. You can watch from 9am to 3pm on weekdays on Te Reo Māori Channel:

  • Sky and Vodafone TV channel 82
  • Freeview Channel 15.

Content will be available for catch up viewing on Māori Television OnDemand (external link)

Schedules and previous sessions (external link)

Universities and tertiary education

Tertiary education will be provided online. Certain small groups can work together at tertiary institutions.

Student accommodation will remain open for students who require it.

For details please contact your education provider or go to the Ministry of Education website.

Ministry of Education advice for tertiary providers / whare wānanga (external link)

Ministry of Education advice for tertiary students (external link)

Support for NCEA students

Additional support is being provided for senior secondary students due to the continuing disruption from the resurgence of COVID-19.

The following support and changes apply to students in Auckland in the first instance:

  • Additional places will be available in programmes led by Te Aho o te Kura Pounamu (Te Kura) from Term 4. This will support students most at risk of not achieving their NCEA goals in 2020.
  • In partnership with the Ministry of Education, Te Kura will have extra places in their summer school this year. This is for students who need up to 10 additional credits to attain an NCEA or University Entrance award.
  • Students working towards an NCEA can gain:
    • up to 6 extra Learning Recognition (LR) credits at Level 1
    • up to 4 extra LR credits at Levels 2 and 3.
  • The credit requirements for certificate endorsements have been reduced by 2 credits. This means students will be awarded a certificate endorsement if they achieve 44 credits at Merit or Excellence level, instead of 46. 

The changes recognise that students in Auckland lost 13 days of classroom-based learning in August following the resurgence of COVID-19.

These measures build on the changes to NCEA and University Entrance that were announced earlier this year.

Announcement of changes to NCEA (external link)

Announcement of changes to University Entrance (external link)

NCEA exams

NCEA exams have been delayed to provide students more time to prepare for end of year assessments.

External NCEA examinations and New Zealand Scholarship examinations have moved from 6 November to 16 November, allowing another week for teaching, learning and internal assessment in Term 4.

The submission date for subjects which require students to submit a portfolio, such as Design and Visual Communication, has moved from from 28 October to 12 November 2020, giving students more time to prepare.

The requirement for NZQA verification of Level 1 and 2 Visual Arts portfolios has been waived, allowing students more time to complete their portfolios and teachers more time for marking.

Further information from NZQA (external link)

Make sure children are safe and cared for

If you’re worried that a child or young person you know is not safe or being cared for, or you know a child who has been separated from their parents or caregivers, contact Oranga Tamariki.

Call 0508 326 459, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week or email 

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