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Lifting boys' educational achievement

6 July 2004

Lifting boys' educational achievement

The membership of a reference group that will provide advice on boys’ educational achievement was announced today by Education Minister Trevor Mallard.

Members of the group are: Mike Leach, Principal of Tangaroa College; Paul Baker, Principal of Waitaki Boys’ High and Chairperson of the Association of Boys’ Schools NZ; Chris Saunders, Principal of Onehunga High School; Ian Baldwin, Principal of Southland Boys’ High; and Bill Hagan, a senior lecturer at the Manukau Institute of Technology.

Trevor Mallard said the group’s main job would be to build support for effective practice and innovation in teaching boys. "A lot of good work is already taking place in many schools around the country, and the majority of boys do very well. However some subject-based differences occur as boys and girls go through secondary school and I believe significant progress can be made in the area of some boys’ educational engagement and achievement," Trevor Mallard said.

"There is not much difference between boys’ and girls’ achievement up to the end of primary school, and it appears that their results become similar again at university level.

"The reference group will invite submissions from individuals or groups with an interest in this area, to ensure that a wide range of views is taken into account." Trevor Mallard made the announcement while speaking to a Boys’ Education Conference being held at the Albany campus of Massey University.

"This reference group is part of the broader work I announced earlier this year that aims to lift boys’ achievement at school. The Ministry of Education is also identifying programmes that result in improved achievement for boys, and seeing if there are areas that merit further research. While there is a significant body of local and international research into issues around boys’ achievement, what we need now is evidence of what works to improve boys’ academic performance.

"I am looking forward to the contribution this group will make to the development of policy to improve outcomes for boys in New Zealand. This government is committed to ensuring all students stay engaged in education and have the opportunity to achieve to their full potential," Trevor Mallard said.

ENDS

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