He Whakaaro: Is COVID-19 making students leave school? Publications
This He Whakaaro is part of a series, exploring impacts of COVID-19 on the education system. This report uses data collected during 2020 to determine the extent to which the COVID-19 outbreaks and lockdowns are impacting on whether students are changing schools, or formally unenrolling from the school system altogether.
Author(s): Andrew Webber, Evidence, Data and Knowledge, Ministry of Education
Date Published: December 2020
- COVID-19 does not appear to be influencing more students to leave school this year. Far fewer students have unenrolled from school so far during 2020, after a stable or increasing trend since 2014.
- According to enrolment data up to late October, 3,100 fewer students have so far left Auckland schools than over the same time last year, and 4,000 fewer students have left schools outside of Auckland.
- Patterns of leaving students were almost identical between 2020 and 2019 before the national lockdown in March and only diverged after that point, strongly suggesting that this is in response to COVID-19.
- Students are also less likely to be changing schools in 2020 than previous years.
- The leaving rate has fallen more in 2020 for male, Māori, Pacific, and 18+ year old students, as well as students in lower decile schools, Auckland, Tai Tokerau, and Bay of Plenty.
- There were fewer students leaving school for each type of reason, including for employment. The largest drops were in students leaving school to go overseas, or to move into further education and training.
- Even in previous years, few students leave school during the year.
Where to find out more
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