‘high school’ age

This is a compilation of information that people have gathered and shared. One problem we have found in trying to get reliable information is that is hard for the various education providers to give us general information that will apply to everyone. They are very happy for people to contact them for individual enquiries. Where possible we have linked to the people, or departments, that you can contact.


The National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA) is the main national qualification for secondary school students in New Zealand. NCEAs are recognised by employers, and used for selection by universities and polytechnics, both in New Zealand and overseas.

As home educators we have a couple of options available to us for gaining NCEA:

 Te Kura

Once your child turns 16 they can enrol at Te Kura as a young adult and there will be no fees for the courses they choose.

If you enrol before 16 for years 11 – 13, the cost per subject is $1229.00 unless you fall into one of several categories.

You can take two subjects with Te Kura before you lose your exempt from schooling status. If your child does choose to do more than two subject you won’t be eligible for the homeschooling allowance.

Sitting Exams

Many of the NCEA subjects require a large component of the work to be internally assessed. However, there are some subjects that you can get the credits through examination only. You will need to contact a school that is willing to let them sit the exams. Try your local one!

Our information has come from a family who used Wellington High School. They did not charge a fee to sit at their school. This family used mainly ‘ESA’ text books and then used the exams and markings schedules and assessors reports on the NZQA website to work out how he was doing and if there were any areas he needed to work on.


Alpha provides tutors and online classrooms. It is available 24/7. At present, to get NCEA through Alpha, you do need to enrol concurrently with Te Kura.

For any of these choices, you need to enrol with nzqa, which currently(2013) costs $76.70 per year.


ACE is a Christian based programme. If you complete year 13 you will receive an Academic Certificate which is equivalent to NCEA level 3.

For costs and more information please refer to their website.


Home Educated students can enrol to sit exams with a Cambridge affiliated school, as a ‘private’ candidate. You can only sit subjects that are assessed fully by examination.

You must not contact a school or tutor directly; check out nzhomeedcambridge@yahoogroups.com for details on how to register.