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Fewer Students Leave School Without Qualifications

Fewer students leave school without quals

The proportion of students leaving school with no qualifications has hit the lowest level in ten years, Education Minister Trevor Mallard said today.

“The latest Ministry of Education statistics show the percentage of students leaving school with no qualifications has dropped from 18 per cent of all leavers in 2002 to 15 per cent of 53,425 school leavers in 2003,” Trevor Mallard said.

"This is excellent news and it's particularly encouraging that fewer Maori and Pasifika students are leaving without qualifications, with the numbers also at their lowest in ten years. The numbers of students across the board leaving with a qualification higher than NCEA level 1 is also on the increase. (see below)."

In 2002, 35 per cent of Maori school leavers left with no qualifications, and this dropped to 30 per cent in 2003. Similarly 26 per cent of Pasifika school leavers left with no qualifications in 2002, compared with 21 per cent in 2003.

"It's good to see improvements in achievement for these students. But the proportion of Maori and Pasifika students leaving with no qualifications at all is still far too high. The government will continue to focus efforts on lifting underachievement across the board. (see list of initiatives attached).

“We now have clear evidence showing raised levels of achievement and reduction in disparities between certain groups in our school population. I'm looking forward to further improvements in 2004 as the roll-out of level 3 NCEA and new scholarship assessment is completed,” Trevor Mallard said.

The other statistics are: In 2003, 67 per cent of school leavers left with qualifications higher than NCEA level 1, compared to 63 per cent in 2002 and 64 per cent in 2001. These include Sixth Form Certificate, NCEA level 2, Higher School Certificate, Entrance Qualification and University Bursary. The proportion of Maori and Pasifika school leavers with qualifications higher than NCEA level 1 grew markedly, from 39 per cent and 54 per cent respectively in 2002 to 45 per cent and 59 per cent in 2003.

Trevor Mallard said he was pleased to see that the proportion of students staying on at school until year 13 was also on the increase, from 58.2 per cent in 2001 to 60.1 per cent in 2004.

"No qualification" in this survey means a student has fewer than 14 credits at level 1 NCEA.

Reducing underachievement: 2004 Fact Sheet


School Planning and
Reporting Processes which tell schools, teachers, parents and students how students are performing;

In the classroom

The focus on quality teaching;

Professional development targeting teaching that works for students, including the work of the School Support Services Advisors;

Literacy and Numeracy Strategy which is focused on lifting professional capacity and developing community capacity so students reading and writing skills are improved

Assessment Strategy, which focuses on assessing a student's achievement and making changes to target their weaknesses: NEMP, asTTle, Exemplars, NCEA.

Materials and resource development and publication

Student attendance/engagement/participation:

Special education policies,

Student engagement initiatives to combat truancy and suspensions

Students at risk initiatives

Schooling improvement initiatives: Nationally there are 24 schooling improvement initiatives, most commonly focusing improving literacy and numeracy

The Pacific Islands School Community Parent Liaison Project (PISCPL) aims to improve learning outcomes for Pasifika students by developing effective links between schools and their Pasifika parents and communities.

Youth Transitions and enhanced Career Advice and Guidance and Gateway programmes to assest school leavers into further education or work

Early childhood education strategy

Some Results

Pasifika participation in early childhood education has increased significantly, from 76 per cent in 2001 to 83 per cent in 2003.

The Maori Student Suspension Programme has decreased suspensions from 76 per 1000 students in the year 2000 to 43 per 1000 students in 2003.

Iwi education partnerships. A New Zealand Council for Educational Research report on te Ngati Porou/East Coast initiative identified improvements in school governance, planning, reporting, rolls, teaching capacity, student learning and behaviour and in teacher professional development.

Te Kauhua and Te Kotahitanga research and professional development programmes improved the learning, behaviour and attendance outcomes for Mäori students in the classrooms of those teachers who had taken part.

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