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Efforts to reduce early leaver numbers succeeding

Hon Chris Carter
Minister of Education

24 January 2008 Media Statement
Efforts to reduce early leaver numbers succeeding

Education Minister Chris Carter says a new Ministry of Education publication showing just how committed schools are to reducing the number of students who leave school early or without qualifications is a great example of just how innovative New Zealand schools are.

The “Staying at School, Assisting students to reach their full potential: Eight New Zealand case studies” recently released by the Ministry of Education shows how schools are adapting to the needs of all their students.

“I found the case studies and the stories of the individual students inspiring,” Chris Carter said.

“While early leaving exemptions have reduced, we want to continue to support students to stay at school beyond the age of 16 wherever possible. Our schools are working hard to do that – this publication shows just how hard.

“This study shows just how innovative our schools have become and how committed to reducing the number of students leaving school early or without qualifications.

“For example, Rotorua Girls’ High School has reduced the number of Maori students leaving school with no formal qualification from one in three six years ago to zero last year.”

The schools featured in the case studies range from large urban secondary schools to small, rural schools but what they all have in common are a range of programmes designed to keep students learning and encourage them to identify careers they are interested in that can be explored while they are still at school.

“The Labour-led government has backed innovative thinking in schools through a range of programmes, such as the Ministry of Education’s Innovation Fund, to help schools provide choices for students in non-traditional areas,” Chris Carter said.

“Last year saw early leaving exemptions drop by around half and I’m delighted schools are taking advantage of these programmes,” Chris Carter said.


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