Fact Sheet: Senior Secondary Student Achievement 2004-2006

Publication Details

The purpose of this fact sheet is to present some key statistics regarding the achievement of senior secondary students. The statistics presented here are sourced from final 2006 data and compared with 2004 and 2005 data.

Author(s): Claire Harkess, Haobo Wang and Michael Parkin, Ministry of Education.

Date Published: June 2007

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Summary

Note that achievement can be measured in many ways and statistics presented here may differ from other sources. Note also that the basis of statistics presented in this paper differs from that we have used in previous papers (see the statistics section at the end for more information).

Qualifications

Students are generally more likely to gain a qualification in 2006 than in 2004.

Figure 1: Proportion of Year 11 – 13 students to gain an NCEA qualification1, by level of qualification, 2004-2006

Image of Figure 1: Proportion of Year 11-13 students to gain an NQF qualification, by level of qualification, 2004-2006.

In 2006, 60% of Year 11 students gained a qualification, compared with 55% in 2004. By far the majority of these students gained a level 1 qualification.

A similar pattern is seen with Year 12 students – 74% gained a qualification in 2006, compared with 66% in 2004. The majority gained a level 2 qualification. Around 9% gain a level 1 qualification. The majority of these students would have started their study in Year 11 but not gained enough credits to complete the qualification in that year. Having returned in Year 12 they go on to accumulate more credits and complete a qualification in that year. In the same year they are likely to have also accumulated credits towards their next qualification.

In Year 13 the proportion of students gaining any qualification has fallen slightly (by 1%) between 2004 and 2006. However Year 13 students are more likely to gain a level 3 qualification in 2006 (52%) than they were in 2004 (48%). The small decrease in students gaining level 1 or 2 qualifications in 2006 is due to students being more likely to achieve these levels before Year 13 than they were in 2004.

Qualifications in 2006

Year 11

As seen in figure 1, 60% of Year 11 students gained a qualification in 2006. Female students were more likely to gain a qualification than males (see chart 2). The rates of qualification attainment differ by ten percentage points. This difference has been steady over the last three years.

Figure 2: Proportion of Year 11 students to gain an NCEA qualification2, by gender and ethnic group, 2006

Image of Figure 2: Proportion of Year 11 students to gain an NQF qualification, by gender and ethnic group, 2006.

Note:

  1. foreign fee paying and NZAID students are excluded from ethnic group data as are students with no reported ethnicity

The bigger differences in rates of qualification attainment are seen between ethnic groups. Asian and European/Pakeha students are much more likely to gain a qualification in Year 11 than Maori and Pasifika students. All groups have shown increases in the proportions of students gaining qualifications since 2004 however the differences between ethnic groups have remained steady.

Year 12

Overall, nearly three-quarters of Year 12 students gained a qualification in 2006. Around 7 percentage points difference in the rates of qualification attainment by males and females is seen.

Figure 3: Proportion of Year 12 students to gain an NCEA qualification3, by gender and ethnic group, 2006

Image of Figure 3: Proportion of Year 12 students to gain an NQF qualification, by gender and ethnic group, 2006.

Note:

  1. Foreign fee paying and NZAID students are excluded from ethnic group data as are students with no reported ethnicity

Differences between qualification attainment rates of ethnic groups are also seen but these are not so marked as in Year 11. 63% of Year 12 Pasifika gained a qualification, compared with 80% of Year 12 European/Pakeha students. This represents a 17 percentage point difference, for Year 11 students it is 33 percentage points. Maori and Pasifika are more likely to be completing a level 1 qualification in Year 12 than Asian and European/Pakeha students.

Year 13

In 2006, 65% of Year 13 students gained a qualification.

Figure 4: Proportion of Year 13 students to gain an NCEA qualification4, by gender and ethnic group, 2006

Image of Figure 4: Proportion of Year 13 students to gain an NQF qualification, by gender and ethnic group, 2006.

Note:

  1. Foreign fee paying and NZAID students are excluded from ethnic group data as are students with no reported ethnicity

Year 13 female students remain more likely to gain a qualification than males.

Year 13 Asian and European/Pakeha students remain more likely to gain a qualification than their Maori and Pasifika counterparts. However the differences between ethnic groups continue to decrease. For example, the European/Pakeha rate is 15 percentage points higher than that of Pasifika students (compared with 33 points in Year 11 and 17 points in Year 12). Pasifika and Maori students are much more likely to gain a level 2 or level 1 qualification in Year 13. This is particularly noted for Pasifika where a higher proportion gained a level 2 qualification than did a level 3 qualification.

University Entrance

University Entrance (UE) is gained by accumulating a selected set of credits. Amongst these required credits is a literacy and numeracy component. Students do not need to gain an NCEA qualification to meet the requirements for UE.

Figure 5: Proportion of students to meet University Entrance requirements by the end of Year 13, by gender and ethnic group, 2004-2006

Note:

  1. Foreign fee paying and NZAID students are excluded from ethnic group data as are students with no reported ethnicity

Overall, up to half of students meet the requirements for University Entrance by the end of Year 13. The proportions doing so have increased in all groups since 2006. However the rate for Maori and Pasifika is particularly concerning.

Figure 6: Did those students who met University Entrance requirements by the end of Year 13 also gain an NCEA level 3+ qualification? By gender and ethnic group, 2006

Figure 6: Did those students who met University Entrance requirements by the end of Year 13 also gain an NQF Level 3+ qualifications? By gender and ethnic group, 2006. <

Note:

  1. Foreign fee paying and NZAID students are excluded from ethnic group data as are students with no reported ethnicity

As stated above, students do not need to attain a qualification in order to meet the requirements for University Entrance. However, the majority of students who meet University Entrance requirements by the end of Year 13 also attain an NCEA level 3+ qualification. 10% of boys, 11% of Maori and 15% of Pasifika meet the UE requirements but do not gain a level 3+ qualification. The majority not gaining a level 3+ qualification do not gain any qualification, implying either that they have returned in Year 13 to concentrate on meeting University Entrance requirements or that they are concurrently undertaking international qualifications.

Literacy and Numeracy

To gain a NCEA level 1 students, need to accumulate at least 80 credits at level 1 or higher, including 8 specified literacy credits and 8 specified numeracy credits. NCEA level 1 is the typical level qualification that Year 11 students work towards. Some students start accumulating credits towards this qualification, particularly literacy and numeracy credits, prior to Year 11. These statistics include all literacy and numeracy credits gained by the end of Year 11.

Figure 7: Proportion of students to meet both literacy and numeracy requirements for NCEA level 1 by the end of Year 11, by gender and ethnicity, 2004 - 2006

Figure 7: Proportion of students to meet both literacy and numercay requirements for NCEA Level 1 by the end of Year 11, by gender and ethnicity, 2004-2006.

Note:

  1. Foreign fee paying and NZAID students are excluded from ethnic group data as are students with no reported ethnicity

Overall, the proportion of students meeting both the literacy and numeracy requirements for NCEA level 1 by the end of Year 11 has risen steadily to 72% between 2004 and 2006.

Females are more likely than males to meet both requirements. Both groups show increases in those gaining both requirements, particularly between 2005 and 2006.

European/Pakeha and Asian students remain more likely to gain both requirements than Maori and Pasifika students. However all groups show increases over time, particularly Maori between 2005 and 2006 who show an 8 percentage point increase.

Figure 8: Proportion of students to meet literacy and/or numeracy requirements for NCEA level 1 by the end of Year 11, by gender and ethnic group, 2006

Note:

  1. Foreign fee paying and NZAID students are excluded from ethnic group data as are students with no reported ethnicity

All groups are more likely to meet the numeracy than the literacy requirement.

No qualifications

Figure 9: Year 11-13 Students who do not gain an NCEA qualification5, 2004 - 2006

The majority of students who do not gain an NCEA qualification in a single year do accumulate credits towards such a qualification. Reductions over time in the proportion of students gaining only credits reflect that more students are gaining qualifications in one year.

Up to 10% of students do not participate in NCEA study. Some of these students will be studying towards international qualifications, particularly in Year 13. The proportions not participating in NCEA study decreased for Year 11 and Year 12 students between 2004 and 2006.

The Statistics

The basis of calculation for the statistics in this fact sheet differs from that used in previous papers.

All proportions are calculated with a denominator of student roll. Previous papers have used a denominator of candidates (a student to gain at least one credit) and have separately reported participation. Participation, or lack of it, is now built into the proportions. To enable a denominator of student roll, foreign-fee paying and NZAID students are excluded from ethnic group statistics.

 The attainment of all national certificates by senior secondary students is reported here, previously only the National Certificate of Educational Achievement was focused on. By far the majority of senior secondary students gain the National Certificate of Educational Achievement. However a few students gain other certificates such as National Certificate in Business Administration and Computing

Table 1: Proportion of students to gain other National Certificates 2004-2006
Year Year 11 Year 12 Year 13
2004 0.1% 0.2% 0.8%
2005 0.3% 0.2% 0.9%
2006 0.3% 0.2% 0.7%

 
Additionally from 2005, qualifications gained by students who have not paid their fees are specifically included. These were specifically excluded from previous papers, and are not able to be specified at all for 2004. At the national level this has minimal effect on time series.

Footnotes

  1. Includes national certificates (for example, National Certificate of Educational Achievement and other certificates), excludes international qualifications (for example, Cambridge International examinations)
  2. Includes national certificates (for example, National Certificate of Educational Achievement and other certificates), excludes international qualifications (for example, Cambridge International examinations)
  3. Includes national certificates (for example, National Certificate of Educational Achievement and other certificates), excludes international qualifications (for example, Cambridge International examinations)
  4. Includes national certificates (for example, National Certificate of Educational Achievement and other certificates), excludes international qualifications (for example, Cambridge International examinations)
  5. Includes national certificates (for example National Certificate of Educational Achievement and other certificates), excludes international qualifications (for example, Cambridge International)

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