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2016 Education Special: Girls v Boys

Jun 22, 2016 Schools

Photo by Simon Young. 

What the stats say about gender achievement in schools. 

Girls do better than boys.

There’s a lot more green (for girls) at the top of our table (below) than there is beige (for boys). But girls don’t always do better, and neither girls nor boys necessarily do better in single-sex schools.

What does the table show about mainstream schools? Setting the achievements of the small-cohort kura kaupapa and Islamic schools to one side for the moment, the table shows:

  • The top-ranked school for both girls and boys is Western Springs College. Its result for girls was better than those of Baradene, Carmel and Epsom Girls Grammar. As for boys, only Rosmini College even came close. Western Springs is a decile 8 school and it has a strong kura kaupapa unit.
  • Perhaps predictably, the top of the table is dominated by girls at schools in the decile 7-10 range. But all sorts are there: religious and secular, single-sex and co-ed.
  • The gap back to boys is often marked: 27 per cent at Albany Senior High and Long Bay, 26 at Howick, 21 at Rangitoto, Orewa, Mahurangi and Green Bay.
  • The only mainstream school where boys did better than girls was Selwyn College. (Boys also did better at Hebron College and the Vanguard Military School.)
  • Girls at Marist College, Sancta Maria and Mahurangi, all decile 7, did as well as most in decile 9 or 10 schools.
  • Girls at St Dominic’s, and boys and girls at Selwyn, both decile 4-5, achieved at the level of decile 7-8.
  • Among the low-decile schools, girls at McAuley High and Marcellin did as well as many decile 7 schools, although Marcellin’s boys were 22 points adrift. It was a similar story at decile 3 Onehunga, where over half the girls gained UE but only a quarter of the boys.

Auckland secondary schools: UE pass rates by gender.

key to table

Guide to the table

We show UE results for boys and girls, gained by Year 13 students in 2015. The co-ed school results for boys and girls are shown separately. We show the top 100 results only. Most schools that offer Cambridge or IB exams are not included because the relevant data is not collected by NZQA and alternative sources are not reliable or compatible. Those schools include all the Academic Colleges Group (ACG) schools, Auckland International College, Auckland Grammar, Avondale College, Diocesan, King’s, Kristin, Macleans, Pinehurst, St Cuthbert’s, St Kentigern and St Peter’s. All are strong academically: you can safely assume their UE pass rates are high.

* Schools with a small number of students sitting Cambridge or IB exams, so their overall results may be a little higher than shown.


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