Early school leaving applications for 15 year olds in New Zealand

By whether approved or declined, 2001–2017, number of applications


Early leaving exemption: Enrolment in school is compulsory for all students aged between 6 and 16 years. However, parents of students aged fifteen may apply to the Ministry of Education for an exemption from schooling on the basis of educational problems, conduct, or the likelihood that the student will not benefit from attending available schools.
Rate: Total number of 15 year-old students enrolled who obtain an early leaver exemption during the school year, divided by the total number of 15 year-old students on the roll (multiplied by 1000).

Data calculation/treatment

Ethnicity is prioritised in the order of Māori, Pacific, Asian, other groups (except European/Pākehā), and European/Pākehā.

Limitations of the data

Each year, there was a small percentage of students for which no ethnicity code had been recorded. The distribution of cases with non-missing ethnic codes has been applied to the set of students with no ethnicity code so as to equate numbers by ethnic group with total numbers of cases. For this reason, all comparisons by ethnicity should be viewed as estimates only.


International Fee paying students

Data provided by

Ministry of Education

Dataset name

School Student Engagement and Participation: Early leaving Indicator 2017



How to find the data

At URL provided, select 'Data Tables' from 'Downloads' in the right-hand column

Import & extraction details

File as imported: School Student Engagement and Participation: Early leaving Indicator 2017

From the dataset School Student Engagement and Participation: Early leaving Indicator 2017, this data was extracted:

  • Sheet: 1. Approval rates 2001 - 2017
  • Range: C4:H20
  • Provided: 102 data points

This data forms the table Education - Early leaving exemption rates per 1,000 15 year old students 2001–2017.

Dataset originally released on:

July 2018

Purpose of collection

In order to achieve in education students must engaged and interested in learning. For many students this means staying at school. All schools face the constant challenge of ensuring that all students feel they belong and are encouraged to participate at school. This is the foundation for motivation, interest and achievement in learning.
Young people who leave school without qualifications may have difficulty performing in the workforce and may face difficulties in terms of life-long learning, or returning to formal study in later years.
There is a strong correlation between early school leavers and unemployment and/or lower incomes, which are in turn generally related to poverty and dependence on income support. In New Zealand, recent data show that those with no qualifications have higher unemployment rates and lower median incomes when compared to those with qualification.