Retention > Trends

Completion of upper secondary education is associated with a range of economic and social benefits both in New Zealand and across the OECD. Retention to senior secondary schooling is linked to higher levels of skills and knowledge required for participation in our increasingly knowledge-based society and the wider global community.

The retention data presented here is calculated from school leaver data, that is, it is the age that a school leaver completed their schooling. The Ministry convention is to consider the proportion of students that remain at school until at least their 17th birthday; this is a year after compulsory education and the average age for a student completing their upper secondary qualifications.

Identical information is available for other territorial authorities in this region by using the drop down menu above. For territorial authorities in other regions first choose the appropriate region from the drop down menu above.

Percentage of school leavers staying at school until at least their 17th birthday (2016-2018)
Group Left before 17th birthday Stayed until at least 17th birthday Percentage staying until at least 17th birthday
2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018 2016 2017 2018
Female 6 17 11 79 65 63 92.9 79.3 85.1
Male 11 18 17 82 60 73 88.2 76.9 81.1
Māori 5 11 13 15 12 13 75.0 52.2 50.0
Pacific x x x x x x x x x
Asian x x 1 x x 4 x x 80.0
MELAA x x x x x x x x x
Other x x 0 x x 0 x x na
European/Pākehā 12 27 18 141 114 124 92.2 80.9 87.3
Territorial Total 17 35 28 161 125 136 90.4 78.1 82.9
New Zealand Total 9,397 10,149 10,843 51,121 52,793 52,042 84.5 83.9 82.8


  1. ‘x’ = data has been suppressed where there are between 0 and 5 students in the denominator for a specific group, for example Asian students. Where one gender has been suppressed the corresponding gender has also been suppressed. 'na' = not applicable.
  2. Ethnicity is multiple response, that is, students who affiliated in more than one ethnic group have been counted in each ethnic group. Students are only counted once in the total, therefore, the ethnic groups may not sum to the total.
  3. International fee-paying students and adult students (age 19+) are excluded.