School Leavers

This is the main index page for school leavers data. From here you can access data on school leavers and publications and analysis based on the data.

Key Findings, Data, Statistics and Publications

School leaver data are publicly available on Education Counts.  Where small numbers are involved the Ministry redacts the data.  Data can be accessed via the following links:


Data is generally made available as simple spreadsheets, but, interactive dashboards may be available and/or pivot tables to allow bespoke tables to be created by users.



Established measures used to determine how well a result has been achieved in a particular area of interest.  For example, the rate of formal school qualifications helps quantify whether students are succeeding at school.


Find a School

An online tool where you can search for a particular school in New Zealand and find its profile, including contact details. You can also access student population, student engagement and student achievement data for the school.


Know Your Region

An online tool where you can find education data for different regions or territorial authority.  Using this tool you can access data on student population, student engagement and student achievement.


Communities of Learning

An online tool where you can search for a particular Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako and find its profile, including contact details, as well as data on the student population, student engagement, and student achievement.


Why is the Ministry collecting this data?

School leaver data is core information required for monitoring the performance of the schooling sector.  The Ministry uses school leaver data:

  • to assess the performance of schools
  • to monitor the results of the New Zealand education system
  • to support policy analysis
  • for national and international reporting

School leaver data is also used for general research and statistics, in accordance with the Privacy Act 1993. This may include linking school leaver data with other student data, for example, for research on the correlation between student attendance and NCEA achievement.  Care is taken that no individual can ever be identified from published analysis.

The Measures

The key measure of school leavers is highest attainment, that is, the highest qualification attained by the student prior to leaving school.  While the vast majority of students in New Zealand sit NCEA; school leaver data also includes the attainment of students using other assessments including, Cambridge International Assessment, and International Baccalaureate.

For school leavers that sit NCEA school leaver data identifies if one of the six Vocational Pathway Awards has been earnt.  To earn a Vocational Pathway Award, students must achieve NCEA level 2; with 60 of their NCEA Level 2 credits coming from a list that is considered relevant to the pathway, and 20 credits highly relevant to the industry the pathway relates to.

School leaver data are also used to generate a retention measure; retention of students at school until at least 17-years-old.

The number of school leavers forms an easily understood cohort that acts as an accurate denominator at a crucial stage in the education system.  It is combined with tertiary data to generate a measure of the proportion of school leavers that continue on to tertiary study.

School leaver data can be presented by student demographics, for example, gender, and ethnicity; and by sector dimensions, for example, school type.

The Data Source

Students that have finished their schooling are identified through ENROL, a national register of student enrolments.  ENROL lets a school update enrolments as students enrol, change schools or leave the school system.  All schools must use ENROL.

The majority of the highest attainment information of students comes from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) who look after NCEA.  Attainment information from other types of assessment, such as Cambridge International Assessment, and International Baccalaureate, are provided directly by the school.


Related Pages

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Education Data Requests
If you have any questions about education data then please contact us at:
Email:      Requests EDK
Phone:    +64 4 463 8065