Four Hawke's Bay schools have been named in a national ranking of the top 50 New Zealand schools.

Woodford House, Lindisfarne College, Iona College and Napier Girls' High School all feature.

Produced by the university admissions and mentoring company Crimson Education, the rankings are based on academic achievements, as well as schools' cultural diversity, arts and sporting options and proportions of students accepted into top world universities.

The highest ranking Hawke's Bay school, Woodford House, moved up to 12th – up from 29th place on last year's list.

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Crimson Education CEO Jamie Beaton said the Havelock North-based school deserves recognition.

"We applaud Woodford House," he said. "Woodford had a higher university entrance pass rate than virtually all of the highly regarded Auckland schools this year and deserves recognition for this incredible achievement."

The girls' boarding school's university entrance levels increased to 98 per cent – up from 94 per cent last year.

Lindisfarne College placed in 20th - up from 24th in last years list. Photo / Warren Buckland
Lindisfarne College placed in 20th - up from 24th in last years list. Photo / Warren Buckland

Lindisfarne College and Iona College moved up the list to 20th and 34th respectively, while Napier Girls' High School, who placed 45th, was a newcomer to the school rankings.

Of the 50 schools on the list, Napier Girls' High School is the lowest decile establishment, at decile six.

Lindisfarne rector, Ken MacLeod, said it was pleasing to be acknowledged.

"It recognises that the cornerstones of our college provide a balanced education that inspires and instils in boys the aspiration to be the best that they can be.

"Importantly it helps them develop into the men of good character our society needs. Men who will find success but who will also lead significant lives as leaders and citizens regardless of the field they work in."

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Iona College moved up one position from last year to 34th place. Photo / Warren Buckland
Iona College moved up one position from last year to 34th place. Photo / Warren Buckland

The state secondary school on Clyde Rd, Napier, as well as Auckland's Sancta Maria College, Mount Albert Grammar, Marist College and Hamilton Boys' High School – all decile seven – are the only schools on the list not decile eight to 10.

The top ranking school, Auckland International College, is one of eight schools from Auckland in the top 10, while seven of the top 10 are co-educational schools, with two single-sex girls' schools and one single-sex boys' school.

Napier Girls' High School was the lowest decile establishment of the 50 schools on the list, at decile six. Photo / Warren Buckland
Napier Girls' High School was the lowest decile establishment of the 50 schools on the list, at decile six. Photo / Warren Buckland

Napier Girls' High School principal Dawn Ackroyd said holistic education and an emphasis on wellbeing were the school's driving factors for success.

"Our students' achievements reflect the commitment of our staff to providing the very best for our students' success - personalised learning, innovative teaching and learning, as well as sound pastoral care," she said.

"We are proud of our students when they do well and attain results they have worked hard for. We value tradition and aspire to the highest in education."

Ackroyd said easing students and staff back in to normality was key when returning to school under alert level 2.

"With regards to return to school, our focus has been on reassuring, reconnecting and rebuilding relationships with our students," she said.

"Their wellbeing needs to come first, the academics will follow."

Woodford House principal Mrs Julie Peterson said she was absolutely delighted.

She said Woodford House had a clear vision and strategy, underpinned by its teachers.

"Our girls are at the centre of this success. It is their drive and genuine love of learning combined with our small class sizes, our dedicated and passionate educators, our comprehensive pastoral care systems and committed and engaged parents who support the learning of their daughter."

Lindisfarne College and Iona College were approached for comment.