Best Schools in the West *Updated*



***Updated with 2014 NCEA  results:


FromJuly 2015 Article in the HERALD :  How Henderson High School and Selwyn College Turned their NCEA results around (2014 NCEA Results)?    Link Here

Metro Magazine Best Schools in Auckland 2015  School Chart Results Link

  •  Henderson High given a gold star for Outstanding Achievenment in it’s decile group and given a  “trending up” arrow for achievement.  
  • Avondale College : “Trending Up”  and Outstanding achievements in Scholarships.
  • St Dominics and Liston both given the gold stars for Outstanding Achievement in their decile group.


* Original Post


 NCEA REsults are out.  And Metro Magazine has written their infamous article on who’s got the best schools – and the good news is we have some strong performers out West and a few of our schools are showing great  improvement.

NCEA results are far from a perfect measure.  But that’s our national standard, and it was the measure   John Key’s political PR machine used when  tooting the horn of the rockstar rise of Selwyn college.

But closer to home and without government intervention,Decile 5 Liston Colleges 2013 NCEA results are comparable to Selwyns.  LIston’s results are boxing well above their decile ranking rivalling  many of Auckland’s fancier Decile 10 and Private Schools.

And  Henderson High has really pulled up their school socks.

 NCEA  results don’t tell the whole story about a school.  So do your own investigation.  But from the NCEA measures, our school options are looking up.


NCEA 2013 (and in brackets percent up or down from 2012.)

* Table excerpts below or full table here at  NZ Herald Article How Your School Rates NCEA Auckland   I’ve added in some comparisons from other parts of town.  Thurs April 3,2014 . .  Full Metro Magazine Chart Here.   West schools in red.



L1 =

Year 11


Year 12

L3 = 

Yr 13


Uni Entrance

Liston College



93.9 (+1.8)

95.4 (+9.3)

98.6 (7.6)

82.6 (-1.6)

Selwyn College


92.6 (+8.7)

94.2 (+7.5)

90.2 (+7.7)

80.2 (+4)

Westlake Boys


92.5 (+1.3)

89.4 (+2.2)

88.5 (+9.5)

74.3 (+8.2)

Takapuna Grammar


88.8 (+8.5)

83.9 (-4.3)

83.1 (+1.6)

79.7 (-2.6)

Kristin School


94.8 (-.1)

96.5 (-1)

89 (+.8)

89 (+.8)

Henderson High School


87.5 (-1.9)

90.4 (+3.1)

78.5 (+3.5)

57.1 (+5.4)

Green Bay 


83.5 (+11.4)

81.2 ( -2.5)

65.9 (-9.4)

56.9 (-13.4)

Avondale College


78.8 (+3.7)

87.5 (+6.7)

79.9 (+8.3)

78.9 (+12.3)

Waitakere College



76 (+11.2)

67.5 ( +10.7)

67.5 (+11.6)

Birkenhead college


80.5 (+4.4)

80.1 (-12.8)

73.3 (+.3)

62 (-2)

Glenfield College


67.2 (-9.3)

78.6 (+5.4)

72.5 (-6.9)

63.2 (.5)

Auckland Grammar


46.1 (+37.8)

79 (+2.1)

66.4 (+1.4)

54.9 (-15.7)

King’s College


78.5 (-2.5)

92.1 (-7.3)

86.8 (7.6)

83.7 (9.7)

Other local schools, besides Liston, also have some good results.  Henderson’s early NCEA  results are high but begin to  tail of at L3 and the UE results are a bit low.  Is our UE result because kids are going into jobs or trades?  Or maybe that’s an area to work on.    But Henderson  has some good strong results in those first years particularly and the new grounds and presentation of the school have transformed it.  Henderson’s percentages are all trending upward since last year for the higher levels. Avondale College’s NCEA is not quite as good as Henderson High but it doesn’t tail off and has impressive   UE results .  And Waitakere College has got double figure  growth – which if it keeps trending like that could quickly put them as high as their competitors.

Metro Magazine says There are many very good schools, and our data this year points to progress in several schools that have struggled in recent years. Green Bay High School last year raised its UE pass rates to a level in line with its decile 8 status, while Henderson High School under new principal Mike Purcell and Kelston Boys under Brian Evans also both appear to be turning things around.”

And for West Auckland Girls –  Metro Magazine says “At the other extreme, private schools get over 90 per cent of their students to Level 2 or beyond, and so do several others. Three schools (Carmel CollegeKing’s College and St Cuthbert’s College) had a 99 per cent pass rate at this level, while the school that punched furthest above its weight (with 93 per cent) was decile 6 St Dominic’s College in Henderson.”

 Metros Says, good schools have a sequence of numbers that runs from low to high, left to right: very few students leave with nothing; lots get a high qualification. This pattern will be evident for the best schools in all deciles.


 Intermediate school’s  use National Standards, not NCEA.  Stuff has a website called School Report where you can choose and compare school results.   Although National Standards are not moderated outside the school so it is not as reliable a measure as different schools may be applying them differently.  But It also gives other data like how many students, how much funding they get per child, the cultural mix, and how many international students.

Decile 8, Glen Eden Intermediate’s National Standard results were well above standard (Higher than Point Chev’s Pasadena, or Takapuna Intermediate).  Glen Eden accepts in zone and out of zone entrolments.  It’s got a roll of 956. Annual funding of $4.4 million – total  funding  $4398 per child.  One mum who was heavily involved with the school,  said her child was academically gifted and interested in technology, and she said Glen Eden  were catering very well for his special interests..

Decile 3 Bruce McClaren’s results are not as strong. .  But it has many advantages.  It has a small role of 242  and a higher funding per child of $6,613.97.  One Kare Kare mum told me she chose the school as she felt the smaller size gave it a more family feeling and you wouldn’t get lost in the system.  She was very happy with the school and said they were well resourced.

Finally, School report says the best thing you can do is visit the schools and talk to the teachers.  Visit their website and read their ERO reports. And then chose a school that matches your families values and your childs needs and interests.

If we keep backing our local schools, by sending our treasured kids to local schools instead of shipping our awesomeness out to fancier suburbs,  we will have stronger schools and stronger local  communities.