Plenty of improvement but still much to work on - the New Zealand schooling sector has been given its annual report card.

The Ministry of Education report, New Zealand Schools - A report on the compulsory schools sector in New Zealand 2013, was published yesterday after earlier being presented to Parliament.

In a foreword, Education Minister Hekia Parata said schools were performing well for many students and progress towards key goals was being made.

"But this report shows that there is room for improvement. The spread of achievement for students is wide.

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"Too many pupils do not reach their full potential because we do not engage and support them in their learning.

"We have over 760,000 students in education in New Zealand, and we need to ensure that we get it right for every single one."

School years full of positives

Alisa Samountry is just weeks away from wrapping up years of New Zealand schooling.
The 17-year-old Avondale College student sat a chemistry exam yesterday afternoon, with her final end-of-year exam on December 1.

Now considering what to study at university, with bio-technology a possibility, she said a combination of factors had made her school years a pleasure.

Near the top were teachers that went the extra distance and were also relatable.
"They don't just treat you like children. They get along with us, are down-to-earth and genuine.

"Our teachers always offer tutorials after school, and make clear if we have any questions they are there for us."

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Alisa said the number of extra-curricular opportunities offered at Avondale - she was a member of the school show and played premiere hockey - had also ensured her enjoyment of school.

The size of the school, at about 2670 students, was a positive, too: "every day you see a new face".