Chair of the Whanganui Principals’ Association, Maryann Roberts, has welcomed the Government’s decision to scrap the decile system. Photo / File

Minister of Education Nikki Kaye announced on Monday that the decile system would be replaced by the risk index – a system that allocates extra money according to how many “at risk” children schools have enrolled.

Maryann Roberts, principal of Aranui School and chair of the Whanganui Principals’ Association, said there were many components to the school funding system.

“This first step of reviewing the targeted component of overall funding is a positive move.”

Ms Roberts said she was particularly reassured to hear Ms Kaye say that no school would lose operational money as a result of the replacement.

“We look forward to the opportunity to participate in robust consultation about the design of these new funding mechanisms in the review,” she said.

The risk index is likely to be introduced in 2019 or 2020.

Ms Kaye said what the risk index takes into account is to be finalised, but 16 draft factors include ethnicity, mother’s average income, how old the mother was when the child was born, and whether the male caregiver is not the biological father. A school’s funding would be based on the number of students with risk factors.

She gave a reassurance that no school would lose funding under the new system.

“I’m pleased to be able to confirm that no school, early learning service or ngā kōhanga reo will see a reduction in their funding as a direct result of this change,” Ms Kaye said.

“In fact, we expect some will gain significantly.”

The decile system, introduced in 2008, rates schools on a scale of 1 to 10, based on the socio-economic position of the student community.

Low-decile schools receive more Government funding than those with high deciles, but it’s not a reflection of the quality of the education provided.

Source: Wanganui Chronicle

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