Last week the Government announced they will be scrapping the decile system and replacing it with a new funding model.
National welcomes this change as it was something we committed to at the last election but which was stalled when Labour took power.
We originally announced these changes in 2017 with what we called a Risk Index, and the government has essentially copied the details while changing the name to the Equity Index.
The new system will mean that school funding is calculated using a range of factors, taking into account the backgrounds of the students attending the school rather than the broad socio-economic status of each school’s surrounding suburbs.
This is a much fairer way of funding schools and will mean the decile ratings are removed. These ratings have often proved to be more discriminatory than helpful when it comes to allocating resources amongst schools, so their removal is much needed.
In Pakuranga, I have heard from teachers and principals who were concerned that the generally higher decile ratings our schools have could disadvantage students who needed extra help, simply because they lived here.
A school’s location does not solely determine the challenges it faces and a system that more closely considers individual students and their circumstances can only benefit those who need further support.
The actual detail in the policy remains to be seen and will be critical to its success. When National announced our policy in 2017, we committed that no school would be worse off.
I will be closely watching the development of this policy and how it will impact schools in the Pakuranga Electorate and will consult with our local educators to ensure their views on these changes are considered.
Simeon Brown, MP for Pakuranga