The number of students leaving secondary school with at least NCEA level 2 has increased markedly in five years, according to figures just released by Education Minister Hekia Parata.
The figures have improved more significantly over the five years for Pacific Island, up by 16.5 points, and Maori students, up by 14.2 points.
The percentage of Pacific Island students leaving school with at least NCEA level 2 increased to 71.8 per cent in 2013, compared with 55.3 per cent in 2008. It was 64.8 per cent in 2012.
The percentage of Maori students leaving school with at least NCEA was 58.6 per cent last year, compared with 44.4 per cent in 2008. It was 54.6 per cent in 2012.
In total, 76.8 per cent of students left school last year with at least NCEA level 2, an increase of 10.3 points on 66.5 per cent in 2008 and a slight increase on the 74.3 per cent in 2012. In 2010 the figure was 67 per cent.
Ms Parata attended the Prime Minister's post cabinet press conference with John Key to announce the figures.
Increasing the percentage of 18-year-olds with at least NCEA level 2 is one of the targets the Government has set under the Better Public Services policy.
The target is for 85 per cent of 18-year-olds to have NCEA level 2 or an equivalent qualification by 2017.