NZ students perform well compared with others - report
02 October 2006

New Zealand students continue to perform well compared with those in similar societies and better than most in reading, mathematics and science, a report released today says. Education Minister Steve Maharey's New Zealand Schools 05 report is an annual overview of the compulsory education sector.

It said although general achievement is high, many schools continue to face the challenge that some students do not do as well as others ? particularly Maori and Pacific Island students. Several initiatives were introduced to deal with this and gains were being made, the report said.

The report measured the impact of the National Certificate of Educational Achievement (NCEA), introduced between 2002 and 2004. It said that during 2005, 62 per cent of Year 11 candidates, 74 per cent of Year 12 candidates and 67 per cent of Year 13 candidates gained an NCEA qualification.

"By the time they leave school, the majority of students have gained a qualification or significant credits towards one," it said. "In 2005, only 13 per cent of school leavers left with little or not attainment. This is an improvement since 2002, when 18 per cent of school leavers had little or no attainment."

In 2005, 80 per cent of 16-year-olds stayed on at school but this reduced to 60 per cent of 17-year-olds and only 13 per cent of 18-year-olds. However, 79 per cent of school leavers became involved in tertiary studies within five years of leaving.

Over the past 10 years, the proportion of students going directly from school to a tertiary education increased, from 47 per cent in 1998 to 58 per cent in 2004.

During 2005, more than 3500 students had difficulty engaging with schools and were involved in alternative education.

"About 75 per cent were aged 14 or less, about two-thirds were male and some 60 per cent were Maori," the report said.