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Private schools lead the way

8th July 2005

Private schools lead the way with higher qualified school leavers

School leaver data released by the Ministry of Education this week shows that private schools are continuing to perform to a higher standard than state and state integrated students, said Joy Quigley, Executive Director, Independent Schools of New Zealand.

Maori and Pacific Island students leaving with NCEA Level 3 or equivalent did particularly well in private schools.

Maori students were 5.1 times more successful and Pacific Island students were 4.8 times more successful than their counterparts in state schools at this level.

European/Pakeha students were 2.5 times more successful, “Other” nationalities were 2 times more successful and Asian students were 1.2 times more successful in private schools, than in state schools according to the recently released Ministry of Education school leaver attainment data 2004. This record of achievement is more solid evidence of success than baldly stating that more children have left school in the last two years with qualifications than in previous years. Of course this will be the case, as leaving with a qualification of some sort is one of the benefits of NCEA. However it is not comparing apples with apples.

Comparing success rates between state, state integrated and private schools is more reliable. The recent figures show that once again students attending private schools are more likely to stay longer and achieve better results. Schools belonging to ISNZ represent only 7% of secondary schools yet they obtained 25% of the top Scholarships awarded in 2004.

Students obviously perform better when they and their families are enrolled in and involved with a school of their choosing. The Chicago-based research of recent visitor to New Zealand, Prof. Caroline Hoxby, also proves that all schools lift their performance when choice is an option for families, and it happens at a lower cost to the State.

ISNZ calls on the Government to enable more equity of access for New Zealand students to a school of their choice said Ms Quigley. It is a proven way to gain better results for more students.

ENDS

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