Is New Zealand’s education system failing our boys? – New study reveals single sex schools provide a significant
advantage for boys in New Zealand
Boys’ schools from around the world have praised a newly-released independent study by Dr Michael Johnston, Faculty of
Education at Victoria University of Wellington, which compares the performance of young men in Years 11 – 13 at New
Zealand single-sex schools with those at co-educational schools. It clearly shows that over the period from 2013 to
2016, young men from single sex boys’ schools have gained NCEA qualifications, University Entrance and New Zealand
Scholarship passes in greater proportions than their counterparts at co-educational schools. This follows on from the
2012 NZCER (New Zealand Council for Educational Research) report which concluded that single-sex schools provided a
significant advantage for boys in New Zealand.
Both studies were completed for the Association of Boys’ Schools of New Zealand and the data illustrates there is a
clear nationwide trend for young men in boys’ single-sex schools to be more engaged, stay longer in school and achieve
better academic results across all deciles and also significantly, across ethnicities including NZ European, Asian,
Maori and Pasifika.
This latest independent research concludes that while the advantages for young men at single-sex schools are consistent
across all decile groups, the greatest advantages are evident for low-decile (1 – 4) schools, especially for Maori. It
recommends that more investigation should be sought by the New Zealand Ministry of Education, as well as by independent
researchers, to gain further insight into the single-sex advantage which is, as the researcher describes, “as a
About The Association of Boys’ Schools
Founded in 2006, the Association of Boys’ Schools in New Zealand is a community of educators who are dedicated to the
education and development of boys. ABSNZ holds national conferences each year at member schools to promote the very best
in boys’ education.