Boys’ Achievement: A Synthesis of the Data

Publication Details

The focus of this report is on boys’ participation, engagement and achievement at different levels of education.

Author(s): Learning Policy Frameworks, Ministry of Education

Date Published: December 2007

Chapter 2 - School Participation

This chapter looks at the gender differences in school participation rates across all school years.

Key Findings

  • School participation rates are relatively stable over years 1 to 10 and reflect the gender ratios in the population. There are proportionately slightly more males than females in years 1 to 10.
  • In years 12 to 15 this gender ratio reverses and females are in the majority.  This is due to higher numbers of males leaving school in year 11 onwards.  Between 2004 and 2005 this translated to around 6,200 males leaving school in year 11.

Table 1 shows the percentage of male and female students enrolled at all school year levels between 2002 and 2005.1 Male students outnumber female students in the primary years (years 1 to 8) and this reflects the gender ratio in the population.  During the secondary school years male students outnumber female students in the junior secondary years (years 9 and 10), in year 11 the relative proportions of male and female students are similar, but in years 12 and 13 female students outnumber male students.

Table 1. Percentages of school rolls by gender between 2002 and 2005

Year

2002 - Male

2002 - Female

2003 - Male

2003 - Female

2004 - Male

2004 - Female

2005 - Male

2005 - Female

Y1

51.0

49.0

51.5

48.5

51.6

48.4

51.4

48.6

Y2

51.9

48.1

51.0

49.0

51.4

48.6

51.6

48.4

Y3

51.5

48.5

51.9

48.1

51.1

48.9

51.4

48.6

Y4

51.5

48.5

51.5

48.5

52.0

48.0

51.2

48.8

Y5

51.6

48.4

51.6

48.4

51.4

48.6

51.9

48.1

Y6

51.9

48.1

51.7

48.3

51.7

48.3

51.4

48.6

Y7

51.8

48.2

52.2

47.8

52.2

47.8

52.1

47.9

Y8

51.1

48.9

51.3

48.7

51.9

48.1

51.7

48.3

Y9

50.9

49.1

51.0

49.0

51.5

48.5

51.9

48.1

Y10

51.0

49.0

50.9

49.1

50.9

49.1

51.1

48.9

Y11

49.8

50.2

49.9

50.1

49.7

50.3

50.1

49.9

Y12

47.2

52.8

47.9

52.1

47.7

52.3

47.9

52.1

Y13

47.1

52.9

47.2

52.8

47.5

52.5

47.1

52.9

Y14

47.6

52.4

49.1

50.9

47.6

52.4

45.3

54.7

Y15

48.4

51.6

51.1

48.9

51.1

48.9

48.2

51.8

The reversal in school participation rates in the senior secondary years is due to higher proportions of males leaving.  In 2002, approximately 5,000 (61 %) year 11 males and 3,000 (39 %) year 11 females left school.  These proportions have remained relatively stable between 2002 and 2005.  The data can also be viewed from a different angle, where, in percentage terms, approximately 18 % of male students on year 11 rolls in 2002 and 2003 had left by 2003 and 2004 respectively, compared to 11 % of female students.  Of the students on the year 11 roll in 2004, 21 % of male students had left school by 2005 compared to approximately 15 % of female students.  Even though the number of males leaving school after year 11 is still greater than females the relative gap has decreased between 2004 and 2005. 

Footnotes

  1. Data Management and Analysis Division, Ministry of Education, (2002 to 2005). Education Statistics of New Zealand.