NZQA submissions a chance for change March 21st, 2022 Ministry of Education statistics in 2019 showed that 9,500 – 10,000 people left school and were not into education, employment, or training. That’s a population roughly the size of Hāwera in Taranaki, who were stalled at the start of their adult lives. Toitū te Waiora believes that Foundation Skills standards are a critical stepping-stone for these learners, a way to move on to the next level and not get stuck in limbo. As such, we have provided feedback to NZQA about the development of unit standards for Foundation and Bridging standards, that we’d like to see the development of unit standards that align with the New Zealand Certificates in Foundation Skills (Levels 1 and 2). These qualifications embrace the principles of foundation education, serving as a pathway to change outcomes for under-served learners who don’t learn well in the conventional education system. We want a suite of standards that align with Te Tiriti partnership values and the Hauora Framework. Standards that reflect the Kaupapa of the Employability Skills Framework, taking an integrated, holistic and strengths-based approach with the transformative potential to contribute to all vocational pathways and the new Vocational Entrance award. And they should be generic and flexible enough to use across multiple contexts, by general or more specific learner groups – whoever needs it. Whether it’s youth, Māori, Pasifika, disabled, refugees, anyone – we want these unit standards to be able to be used across the board in Aotearoa. They should be designed for holistic and integrated assessment, that supports and values the experience of the learner. About learning and teaching instead of being assessment-driven. They should be a stepping stone, not a hurdle.