20 Aug 2012

Principals welcome decision to drop decile numbers

8:35 pm on 20 August 2012

Principals are applauding a decision by the Education Review Office to drop decile numbers from its reports on schools.

The ERO says it will stop including the numbers from October this year, because they indicate schools' socio-economic status and have no bearing on the standard of education they provide.

It says the Ministry of Education uses the decile number to allocate funding to schools, but some people wrongly believe that higher numbers indicate better quality schools.

Principals groups and the Post Primary Teachers Association have welcomed the change, saying schools with a low decile number often labour under the misconception that they do not do a good job.

However, the groups also warn decile numbers do have their use - particularly in ensuring schools are not subjected to unfair comparisons.

The change follows debate earlier this year about white flight from low-decile schools.

The decile scale starts at No 1 for schools with the highest proportion of children from the poorest neighbourhoods and runs to No 10 for schools with the fewest children from the poorest neighbourhoods.