King's High School in Dunedin has achieved the highest
NCEA pass rates for state boys' schools in the country, New
Zealand Qualifications Authority statistics show.
Participation-based figures released to schools showed the
South Dunedin decile 6 secondary school achieved a 93.2% pass
rate in NCEA level 1, the highest in the country.
It achieved 90.8% in NCEA level 2, the second highest in the
country, and 82.4% in NCEA level 3, the third highest in the
Overall, the school was the highest-ranked boys' state school
in New Zealand.
Wellington College was ranked second, and Shirley Boys' High
Otago Boys' High School was ranked ninth, Waitaki Boys' High
School was ranked 15th and Southland Boys' High School was
ranked 18th of the 23 state boys' schools nationwide.
King's High School principal Dan Reddiex said the results
reflected a significant transformation in the school's
"The high expectations of staff, a strong values programme,
excellent tracking systems and accountability for student
performance are all key drivers behind the outstanding
While Waitaki Boys' High School rector Paul Jackson was
pleased with his school's results, he was quick to point out
the statistics did not reflect the large number of year 11
pupils who achieved NCEA level 2, when they were only
expected to achieve level 1.
"We had 30 year 11 boys sit level 2 and achieved it last
He believed some schools in New Zealand doctored their
results to make them look more favourable, by not allowing
pupils to enrol in NCEA if they were unlikely to pass.
Mr Reddiex said it was not a practice carried out by King's
Otago Boys' High School rector Clive Rennie said statistics
should not be taken at face value, with variables behind the
"Our three levels of qualification can be earned through a
combination of assessment methods," he said.
"Unit standards and achievement standards can be combined in
a variety of ways. Achievement standards culminate in a
higher education pathway."
While the participation-based statistics showed a higher
percentage of King's High School pupils had achieved NCEA
qualifications than Otago Boys' High School, 65.5% of his
pupils had gained university entrance, as opposed to King's
High School's rate of 54.1%, Mr Rennie said.
"A true measure of student qualification is the pathways they
are able to pursue upon leaving school," he said.