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NCEA: Systemic failure in education system

Hon Bill English
National Party Education Spokesman

7 September 2006

NCEA: Systemic failure in education system

The fact that one in six students at some of the country’s most affluent schools leave with very limited options for the future shows that under-achievement is systemic in the education system, says National’s Education spokesman, Bill English.

He has released figures showing that 27% of all students leave school without achieving the NCEA level 1 qualification –the equivalent of the old School Certificate. One in six students from high-decile (8-10) schools do not achieve the basic qualification.

“Many parents assume their child is guaranteed success if they attend a high-decile school, but these NCEA results prove that’s far from the case,” says Mr English.

“More than a quarter (28.3%) of students leave a high-decile school with just Level 1 NCEA or less. Any student knows that leaving school with a Level 1 pass means limited choices and difficult access to tertiary education and training.

“But Labour continues to count failure as success.”

Last week, the Ministry of Education claimed that just 13% of students leave school without a qualification.

But Mr English says Labour’s definition of qualification is “nonsense”, and the actual proportion of students who leave school without a qualification is more than double that.

“According to Labour, any student achieving 13 of the 80 NCEA credits required to reach level 1 NCEA has a qualification.

“So Labour is counting the thousands of students who fail level 1 as a success. A student with just 13 credits does not have a qualification. They need 80 credits.

“Steve Maharey is misleading students and their parents by telling them that a handful of credits provides them with choices when they leave school,” says Mr English.


Attached: Table showing number of students leaving secondary schools during 2005 by decile band and level of highest attainment

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