Source: Tertiary Education Commission
Please refer to the ACE in Schools funding conditions for details of eligibility criteria.
Schools must continue to be a state or state-integrated school, and must continue to be quality assured by the Education Review Office.
From January 2021, the priorities of ACE in School funding are for programmes that:
Courses focused on employability
Life skills such as financial literacy
Introductory ‘taster’ courses
Promote social and cultural inclusion and participation
Languages, including Te Reo Māori, New Zealand Sign Language (including ESOL), Pacific languages (especially Realm languages) and Asian languages
Courses supporting digital inclusion
Raises foundation skills
Courses in literacy, numeracy and/or digital literacy
Improve health and wellbeing
Courses such as parenting, mental health and resilience, or conflict resolution/anger management.
ACE funding does not prioritise provision broadly classed as hobby courses (e.g., arts, crafts and music, personal fitness and recreation, and home maintenance). Any funding requests for ACE provision must demonstrate how it meets one of the programme priorities listed above, as well as how the provision addresses community learning needs.
ACE in Schools programmes must also prioritise learners with the highest need and those who have been traditionally underserved, such as Māori, Pacific peoples, and learners with disabilities.
TEOs must ensure that learners are domestic students. They must also be aged 16 years or over and not full-time secondary school students unless they met specific criteria set out in the funding conditions.
TEOs and schools are required to verify a learner’s identity before enrolling them in an ACE programme. The funding condition outlines the following methods on how TEOs and schools can verify a learner’s identity:
a) You must verify the identity of each learner enrolled in a programme or programmes of study or training and confirm the learner is who they say they are by doing one or more of the following:
(i) confirming that all data fields match the student’s NSN; or
(ii) receiving an assertion through the Department of Internal Affairs’ RealMe® online identity verification service; or
(iii) sighting the original or certified copy of a current passport; or
(iv) sighting the original or certified copy of one or more of the following documents:
1. a birth certificate; or2. a certificate of identity; or3. a New Zealand certificate of citizenship; or4. an expired passport that has not been cancelled; or5. a current New Zealand driver licence; or6. a current New Zealand firearms licence; or
(v) if a learner is unable to obtain a birth certificate for the purposes of Condition 4(a)(iv)(A), you may contact us to confirm whether a whakapapa statement signed by both the student and a kaumātua is acceptable evidence of identity.
b) You must follow the process set out in Condition 4(a) unless we are satisfied that there are special circumstances that justify using an alternative process, and we authorise you in writing to follow a different process specified by us.
There will be situations where a learner may not have a one of the forms of identity listed above.
Alternative method to verify identity
TEOs and schools may use an alternative method to verify a learner’s identity for ACE enrolment in exceptional circumstances where the learner does not have access to one of the documents outlined in the funding condition. We do not require TEOs or schools to request our approval of their approach if it meets the guidelines provided below. These guidelines and website text can be taken as our approval for TEOs to use this alternative method of identity verification.
This does not mean TEOs and schools apply an alternative method for all ACE learners. It should only apply to learners who cannot provide a form of identification outlined in the funding condition.
Our guidelines for using an alternative method to verify an ACE learner’s identity
TEOs and schools must provide the learner with a self-declaration form to sign, if no formal documentation outlined in the funding condition can be provided. An example of a self-declaration form TEOs and schools will need to give to the learner is provided below.
As well as providing a self-declaration form to the learner, TEOs and schools should also use other forms of documentation to assist with verifying a learner’s identify where appropriate. This is to minimise the possibility of a learner falsely declaring their identity. Examples of documentation they may use as part of their due diligence when using the self-declaration form are:
a Work and Income benefit letter;
a Community Services card;
a letter from their doctor; or
other documents that confirm the learner’s name and address.
TEOs must have a written policy and process in place for applying the alternative method of identity verification. The written policy and process must be made available upon request from TEC to conduct audit checks, including any copies of the form of documentation used to verify the learner’s identity.
Example of a self-declaration form TEOs and schools can use to verify an ACE learner’s identity and eligibility.
Declaration for verification of learner eligibility and identity (Word, 29 Kb)