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Best schools in Auckland 2017: What the stats say

Metro digs down into academic achievement across all Auckland secondary schools. Here's the top ten things we found in our tables.

Best schools in Auckland 2017: What the stats say

Jul 8, 2017 Schools

Best schools in Auckland 2017: What the stats say

What should you look for when choosing a secondary school in Auckland? Metro’s Best Schools in Auckland issue ranks the top schools by pass rates and analysing all schools by academic achievement. Here’s some of the key information we’ve dug out of the stats for you.

NB: You can find our Best Schools in Auckland 2018 article here

Ten key things the tables tell us.


    1. Only four schools — St Cuthbert’s College, Diocesan School for Girls, St Peter’s College and King’s College — achieved over 90 per cent University Entrance pass rates in 2016, down from nine schools in 2013.
    2. State-integrated schools (former private schools which have integrated into the state education system) achieved better pass rates for UE and NCEA level 3 than state-funded schools.
    3. Schools with smaller rolls scored higher in NCEA level 3 achievement than those with 1000-plus students (78.2 per cent versus 72.8 per cent).
    4. McAuley High, the Catholic girls school in Otahuhu, continues to punch above its weight for decile 1 schools, with a UE pass rate of 65 per cent, well above the average of 55.4 per cent. McAuley also has the fourth-highest NCEA level 3 pass rate (a ranking it shares with St Peter’s College, Sacred Heart College and Sancta Maria College). McAuley is the only decile 1 school in the top 45 schools for NCEA level 3 pass rates.
    5. Of the top 15 schools, all of which achieved an NCEA level 3 pass rate of over 90 per cent, six are girls schools, five are co-ed and four are boys schools.
    6. Single-gender schools achieve both higher NCEA level 3 (83.1 per cent) and UE pass rates (65.9 per cent) than co-ed schools.
    7. Private schools outperform both state and integrated schools for NCEA level 3 and UE pass rates, while integrated schools outperform state schools by a significant margin when comparing average NCEA level 3 and UE pass rates.
    8. Westlake Girls’ High School is the only state school to make the top 15 in NCEA level 3 pass rates.
    9. The average NCEA level 3 pass rate for schools that also offered alternative exam systems was 84.4 per cent, well above the average of 75.7 per cent.
    10. Of high-decile schools (deciles 7 and above) with state funding, St Peter’s College was the only one to achieve above 90 per cent in both NCEA level 3 and UE pass rates in 2016.


Our data

Data sourced from the Ministry of Education (, New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) and schools. Not all 2016 data was available. Where unavailable, 2015 data has been reported. Some percentages have been rounded. 

Academic results do not indicate the quality of a school and should not be used as the sole basis for choosing one.

Our data analysis was done by AUT’s Media+Experience Lab (MaX Lab), an international, interdisciplinary and cross-institutional collaboration involving researchers and designers from NZ, China and the US. MaX Lab aims to foster economic growth through user experience design innovations. It focuses on smart learning, information, product, service and system design plus big data analysis and graphical visualisation.

This is published in the July- August 2017 issue of Metro.

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/MetromagnzL @Metromagnz @Metromagnz




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