The number of Otago secondary schools failing to meet the
national average pass rate in all levels of NCEA continues to
rise, recently released statistics from the New Zealand
Qualifications Authority show.
This contrasts with the number of secondary school pupils
gaining NCEA qualifications nationwide, which has increased
at all three levels for the ninth consecutive year.
During the past five years (2009-2013), the number of Otago
schools failing to match, or better, the nation's levels 1, 2
and 3 roll-based pass rates has grown from two to five in
level 1, seven to nine in level 2, and nine to 12 in level 3.
However, Otago Secondary Principals' Association chairman
Mason Stretch said drawing conclusions about a greater number
of schools ''not at national figures'' was problematic.
He questioned how many were within 1% or 2% of the national
''It could be as little as a 0.5% change for two or three
schools that takes them into the red, when, in fact, there is
little significant change in results.
''Counting up those schools below does not take into account
the positive changes individual schools are making to raise
''I know of several schools on the list that have made
improvements but they are still below for one or two NCEA
''That progress is significant and important, but not shown
in the results.''
Mr Stretch said all schools were looking critically at their
NCEA results and aiming to provide the best opportunities for
''My quick look at the figures suggests that rural schools
are doing well.
''There is clearly variation between schools but there are
many factors that are not considered here, such as the
socio-economic wellbeing of the school's community and school
He said it was also important to note how well pupils in the
Otago region achieved nationally.
He believed it was one of the-best performing regions
nationally for NCEA achievement.
''On the whole, students in this region benefit from well run
schools, with committed boards of trustees and staff, and
An NZQA spokeswoman said the statistics assisted schools and
teachers in their planning and any comparisons made between
schools should be treated with caution.
Schools designed their courses and qualifications for pupils
differently and the public should be aware of factors such as
decile, roll numbers and courses offered, which would
influence statistics, she said.