you're reading...
Deciles, Funding Schools, School Funding

Decile review causing blunt force trauma

When Hekia called the decile system a blunt instrument, she wasn’t joking, was she?  The new decile ratings have left some schools feeling as though they’ve been bashed.

Take Wanganui City College, told it will lose $40k due to the review, while just up the road Wanganui Collegiate is getting an additional $11k its headmaster says it doesn’t need.  Ouch.

(Double ouch when you bear in mind Wanganui Collegiate is an integrated day and boarding school that received a $3.8 Million bail out from the government and charges substantial fees.)

hammer smashMeanwhile, Hastings Intermediate has gone from being a decile 2 school to decile 3 and will have its budget slashed by over $100,000, a 12% reduction in income.

Green Island School in Dunedin jumped two decile levels, to 6, and loses around $10k per year.

And Kaka Street Special School loses $4,500 – which the principal explains is over 200 much needed teacher aide hours.

Ouch, ouch, ouch.

One of the problems with decile ratings is that the schools are divided into 10 percentiles, from poorest students to wealthiest, no matter what the actual socioeconomic level of those families:

– Decile 1 schools are the 10 per cent of schools with the highest proportion of students from low socio-economic homes.

– Decile 10 schools are the 10 per cent with the lowest proportion of students from low socio-economic homes.

So, for example, if families are getting poorer over the whole country, a school could find itself with a new decile rating despite its students having no change in financial circumstance. In other words, the children in the school may be just as needy as they ever were, but the school’s decile rating moves up because another school’s children are now even poorer.


And the rejigged decile ratings have another critical impact, which is that schools can lose the ability to access help from charities such as KidsCan, Duffy Books, food in schools programmes and access to social workers. Suddenly, with little or no change to the students’ circumstances, that extra support is gone.


Blunt instrument indeed.




Further reading:


About Save Our Schools NZ

"One needs to be slow to form convictions, but once formed they must be defended against the heaviest odds." Gandhi


No comments yet.

Share your thoughts:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow Save Our Schools NZ on

Category list:


%d bloggers like this: