At the beginning of the month the government announced that our current decile rating system will be replaced in 2019/2020 with a risk index. The roll out of this new approach will depend on the outcome of consultation with the sector. This is one of the first changes to be introduced, as a result of the recent ‘Funding Review.’
Decile ratings have drawn criticism for many years with many concerned that schools were being judged on the socio-economic status of the school’s catmint instead of how well the school was performing. The government has reassured us that no school will see a reduction to present funding when this is introduced which is good news, however, I will be interested to see if a school such as ours will benefit in the long term under this new system.
The new index will fund schools on the estimated number of children who are at greater risk of educational underachievement. The factors that will be on the new index include:
- Proportion of time the child has been supported by benefits since birth
- Child has a Child, Youth and Family notification
- Mother’s age at child’s birth
- Father’s offending and sentence history
- Youth Justice referral
- Mother’s and father’s average earned income over previous 5 years
- School transience
Data will be extracted from the integrated data infrastructure hosted by Statistics New Zealand. A child is deemed to be of higher or lower risk depending on how many factors above are in play. The more factors, the higher the risk. This new system is not about funding being attached to specific children. Instead the school will be provided a set amount that reflects the achievement challenges that they face in their specific school context.
Decisions are still yet to be made around:
- the percentage of children that will be defined as disadvantaged for funding purposes
- the funding rates that will recognise the higher concentrations of disadvantaged children in schools
- the system-wide level of funding to mitigate disadvantage in schools
In addition to this further work is still being done on the curriculum funding amount allocated for each child. Leadership will obviously be keeping a close eye on the proposed changes and the impact it has (if any) on our school operations, as we want the best funding we can possibly access for your children. For more information on this topic please visit.