Workshop aims to lift pupils' achievement

LAUREN HAYES
Last updated 05:00 07/09/2013

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Southern education staff were given tools to improve pupil achievement at a Ministry of Education workshop yesterday.

The workshop, held at the Ascot Park Hotel, came after the ministry warned Southland was not on track to meet NCEA targets.

The government will require 85 per cent of 18-year-olds to have NCEA level two by 2017, but last year only 74 per cent achieved the qualification.

Ministry of Education strategy and operations manager, achievement 2013-17, Tony Turnock, said the pathway for pupils heading to university was well-established, but there needed to be clearer checkpoints and routes for pupils wanting to embark on more vocational training.

He believed this would help more pupils stay engaged in education and gain NCEA level two, the lowest qualification young people should be leaving school with.

The workshop was a way for the community to get together and examine the specific needs of their community, he said.

During the workshop, speakers discussed ways to accelerate pupil achievement, ways to get family involved and techniques which had worked well in school trials.

Speakers also fielded concerns about the pressure achievement targets could place on schools, raising the likelihood of schools driving more pupils into "soft option" courses to meet percentages.

However, Blue Mountain College principal Lindy Cavanagh said the workshop had been a valuable opportunity for education staff to explore options for pupils with vocational skills.

She believed all schools aimed at getting 100 per cent of pupils achieving NCEA level two.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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