The Minister of Education’s suggestion at a new funding system driven by achievement data has raised concerns that it will increase inequality among New Zealand schools.
Minister Hekia Parata announced last week the Government’s intentions to scrap the decile system of funding in favour of a system that was linked with student achievement.
Primary teachers’ union NZEI Te Riu Roa has voiced its concern at the proposal.
National Secretary Paul Goulter said that a performance based funding system would transfer resources from ‘low-achieving’ schools in our poorest areas to high decile schools, and the impact of inequality would be even harsher for thousands of children.
“National standards data should never be used to blame and punish the schools doing the hardest work with our most disadvantaged children,” said Goulter.
The New Zealand Principals’ Federation (NZPF) agreed.
“It is counter-productive to withdraw funding from the very schools that require more support because they have a higher rate of disadvantaged and challenged learners,” said president Denise Torrey.
She said the Minister’s funding proposals were similar to the “disastrous” situation in the UK where poorer public schools are starved of funds to make way for private charter schools.