Schools learn a very important equity index number to replace outdated deciles

Students in Tai Tokerau, Hawke’s Bay/Tairawhiti and Bay of Plenty/Waiariki face the greatest socio-economic barriers to success under the new Education Sector Equity Index (EQI), which is expected to be introduced next year.

While schools are now aware of their individual equity scores, they still have to wait until September to see how much equity funding they will receive under the new system. However, most will see their funding increase.

The index used 37 socio-economic factors – ranging from parents’ education levels and benefit history, to Oranga Tamariki notifications and student fleetingness – to calculate an index between 344 and 569 for each school.

This number, generated using anonymized data, represents the barriers students face in achieving academic success, providing more targeted equity funding to those facing the greatest barriers.

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Figures released by the Ministry of Education show that Tai Tokerau, Hawke’s Bay/Tairawhiti and Bay of Plenty/Waiariki have the highest average levels of deprivation at 506, 491 and 489 respectively.

Schools have been told their Equity Index numbers, but will not know how much funding their schools will receive until September.  Pictured: Tiffany Yap, 10, and her sixth year classmates at Queen Margaret's College, Wellington.

KEVIN STENT / Stuff

Schools have been told their Equity Index numbers, but will not know how much funding their schools will receive until September. Pictured: Tiffany Yap, 10, and her sixth year classmates at Queen Margaret’s College, Wellington.

Regions below the national average of 463 include Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast (456), Otago/Southland and Wellington (450), while Auckland and Canterbury/Chatham Islands are the lowest at 444.

Pat Newman, president of the Tai Tokerau School Principals Association and principal of Horo Horo School in Whangarei – a decile 2 school under the current system – said he was not surprised by the presence of the region in the data. His school’s index number was well into the 500s.

“For about twenty years that I have been here, we have been saying that this is the real case of the schools of Te Tai Tokerau. That we serve large communities, but they’re very weak socio-economically and resources and things like that.

“We need help.”

Tai Tokerau Principals' Association president Pat Newman says schools in the area

annette lambly/stuff

Tai Tokerau Principals’ Association president Pat Newman says schools in the area “support great communities” but need resources to help their students. (File photo)

Several directors met by Things were reluctant to publicly reveal their figures, but the Ministry of Education has confirmed that they will be released in August. A request for numbers given to schools in the Wellington area was denied by the agency.

New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) Te Riu Roa president Liam Rutherford said it was difficult for principals to provide context for their figures without knowing how their funding would be affected.

The principal of Tawa College in Wellington, Andrew Savage, agreed. “We’re just trying to understand the impact.”

The index will replace the outgoing and arguably outdated decile funding model, which has been roundly criticized for stigmatizing schools at the bottom and misusing it as a measure of school quality.

Newman hoped the new system would not be used in the same way.

“I hope people don’t go so far as to say ‘just because you have a high number, something is wrong with your school’.

“I think parents should go to schools, go to them at recess and at lunchtime before deciding whether schools are good or bad – not on the basis of fairness or of the decile.”

The decile system was also seen as a blunt instrument, contributing to funding cliffs where schools would see steep drops between deciles, while also influencing enrollment numbers, property values, and teacher recruitment.

Index funding was much more sophisticated in its funding allocation than its predecessor which relied on census data, which meant that schools could wait years for demographic changes in their area to be reflected in their level of funding. by shares.

Ministry of Education Hautū (Chief) Operations and Integration Sean Teddy cautioned against comparisons between decile rankings and numbers under the index.

Department of Education Operations and Integration Hautū (Chief) Sean Teddy says the schools' index values ​​will be released next month.

PROVIDED

Department of Education Operations and Integration Hautū (Chief) Sean Teddy says the schools’ index values ​​will be released next month.

“They use different formulas, including different variables and years of data, and how we apply the EQI will also be different…unlike deciles, schools and kura are not evenly sliced ​​and the funding they receive is also quite different to decile funding,” Teddy said.

The Equity Index received $293 million in operating funding and $8 million in capital funding in this year’s budget, with an additional $75 million in funding, which means most schools would see an increase in their funding next year.

Average equity index by region

Tai Tokerau, 506.

Hawke’s Bay/Tairawhiti, 491

Bay of Plenty/Waiariki, 489

Taranaki/Whanganui/Manawatu, 479

Waikato, 476

Nelson/Marlborough/West Coast, 456

Otago/Southland, Wellington, 450

Auckland, Canterbury/Chatham Islands, 444

National average: 463

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