Alwyn Poole

Among many of the things deliberately hidden behind the pandemic curtain is that the education system that is spiralling out of control. A disconnected Minister. A Ministry with entirely incompetent and invisible leadership. Around 60% of all students fully attending and only around 40% of Decile 1 – 3 high school students fully attending. A huge range of achievement outcomes and the worst bullying stats in the developed world.

However … despite the odds, there are some great schools, superb leaders and teachers and hope for the future – as long as we don’t leave it to the government in the current form.

Having now spent a month looking through and processing data for all New Zealand High Schools, I thought it might be helpful to shine a light on the 10 schools that lead their decile based on:

  • Level 3+ for leavers.
  • University Entrance for leavers.
  • Retention to 17 years of age.
  • Progression in degree level study for leavers.
  • Plus – intra decile comparisons.

The list below is by no means stating that these are the only good schools in our country.

Also, keep in mind that a school is not the only determinant for a child’s success. A thoughtful, supportive and engaged family outweighs the school – but schools OUGHT TO BE GOOD – that is why we fund them.

By the measures I stated above the decile leading schools are:

  • Decile 1: McAuley High School (Otahuhu)
  • Decile 2: St Joseph’s Maori Girls (Taradale)
  • Decile 3: Auckland Girls Grammar School (Auckland)
  • Decile 4: Selwyn College (Kohimarama)
  • Decile 5: Manukura (Palmerston North)
  • Decile 6: St Catherine’s College (Kilbirnie)
  • Decile 7: Marist College (Auckland)
  • Decile 8: St Peter’s College (Epsom)
  • Decile 9: Baradene College (Auckland)
  • Decile 10: Iona College (Havelock North)

Notice any patterns? Only two are State schools. There are plenty of good State schools but often those buck against the system and the pattern is unmistakable. The cookie-cutter State system is a disservice to New Zealand families and 3,400 bureaucrats are collective Humpty Dumpties.

UE by School Governance
State Integrated65

I am happy to listen and be challenged on this list. The main point is that these schools (and others) are clearly doing something right that others can learn from. Nothing replaces well supported, good parenting, but schools have a part to play.

I have also concluded what the three worst-performing schools in New Zealand are. Clues? All founded in the last 12 years and costing about $50 million each. All decile 10 and lauded by a Ministry of Education and other glossy people who would not recognise a rigorous and excellent education if it bit them on their collective posterior.

To access the data set: [email protected]

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