This is a comprehensive measure that includes all New Zealand secondary students at a distinct point of time in every student’s schooling life, namely when they finish school. This is the main reporting measure for the Ministry of Education. School leaver data forms the basis of a number of measures, including highest attainment, school leaver destinations (when combined with tertiary data), and retention at school.
School leavers is our main measure of secondary student attainment. This is a comprehensive measure. It focuses on a distinct point of time in every student’s schooling life, namely when they finish school. As such this measure in theory captures all students. And while it is based on NCEA results the measure also captures attainment information on students using other assessments including, Cambridge International Assessment, and International Baccalaureate. More information about this collection can be found on the School Leavers Data Collection page.
School leaver data forms the basis of a number of measures, including highest attainment, school leaver destinations (when combined with tertiary data), and retention at school. For a simple summary of each of these measures please read the appropriate education sector indicator:
The buttons at the top of the dashboard control what is on the bottom axis of the graph. To filter the data use any of the Region, School or Student filters on the left. To switch between the filters use the buttons titled "Region", "School" and "Student". By default the dashboard only shows data from the most recent year. To select other years use the dropdown in the top left (under “Filters”).
Ethnicity shows the ethnic group or groups a student identifies with. For school leaver data this is total response, that is, leavers are counted in each ethnic group they identify with. This means that you cannot sum the different ethnic groups to get a total as some students will be counted multiple times. To avoid this we have added a Total value for ethnicity, where individuals are only counted once. By default Ethnicity is set to Total.
You can expand the dashboard by pressing the ⤢ icon in the bottom right corner of the dashboard.
Read the instructions (pdf 74kB) for more guidance on using the School Leaver: Highest Attainment dashboard.
Time Series Data
These spreadsheets provide numbers and percentages of students by different highest attainment levels for a range of dimensions (such as Māori medium and English medium education, region, school authority, ethnicity) across time in a simple, easy to use format.
This pivot table allows you to create your own tables by any combination of variables. Includes the option of displaying number of school leavers by highest attainment for a range of variables, such as, region, school authority, and ethnicity.
Machine Readable Data
The following data have been provided in a format (csv) that can easily be processed by a computer. It contains the same data that are in the school leaver pivot table.
School Leaver Data Technical Notes
Inclusive and exclusive criteria
School leavers in 2018 are students that permanently left school to enter the workforce and/or undertake further education and training sometime between 1 March 2018 and the last day of February 2019 (inclusive). School leavers are identified using ENROL. Students counted as school leavers are:
- Domestic students who were aged less than 19 in their first enrolment in ENROL; including alternative education students, students 16 or over before 1 March 2019 and students attending teen parent units.
- Students with leave reason; 'end of schooling' or 'early leaving exemption'
- Students with leave reason 'transferred to another school in New Zealand' or 'transferred to home schooling' but did not reenrol in ENROL
- Students with leave reason 'gone overseas permanently', who meet the age criteria
- Students who attend for a period of time at the start of 2019 but leave before 1 March 2019 are counted with 2018 leavers.
- Returning students (aged 19 or more) with a gap in their attendance
- Exchange students
- International fee-paying students
- Students who successfully transferred to homeschooling or another school in New Zealand
- Deceased students
Alternative education students are counted with the school that enrolled them in alternative education, this may not be the school that manages their enrolment while they are in alternative education. This is to reflect that the enrolling school is responsible for ensuring the students’ education needs are met.
Literacy and Numeracy: In 2013, students were required to obtain 10 literacy and 10 numeracy credits at level 1 to achieve an NCEA Level 1 qualification. This is an increase on the 8 credits previously required to achieve NCEA Level 1. No historical adjustment has been made for this change.
University Entrance Award requirements: A change in the requirements for the University Entrance Award came into effect in 2014. This strengthening of the requirements means care needs to be taken when comparing results before 2014 with 2014 onwards.
Ethnicity: Total response ethnicity has been used for school levers. Total response ethnicity is when people who have been identified in more than one ethnic group have been counted in each ethnic group. For the New Zealand total, individuals are counted only once.
For this data European/Pākehā refers to people who affiliate as New Zealand European, Other European or European (not further defined). For example, this includes and is not limited to people who consider themselves as Australian (excluding Australian Aborigines), British and Irish, American, Spanish, and Ukrainian.
School Data Dimension Notes