Ministry funding deciles

New Zealand schools and kura have decile ratings that help determine how much government funding they get.

What is a funding decile?

Funding deciles are ratings used by the Ministry of Education to determine some of the funding a school or kura gets.

  • schools each have a decile rating from 1 to 10
  • roughly 10 per cent of schools are in each decile rating - 10 percent have a decile 1 rating, 10 have decile 2 rating and so on
  • the lower a school’s decile rating, the more funding it gets.

The higher funding for lower decile schools is for extra resources to support their students’ learning needs.

What does the decile rating measure?

A school’s decile measures the extent to which the school’s students live in low socio-economic or poorer communities. Decile 1 schools are the 10% of schools with the highest proportion of students from low socio-economic communities. Decile 10 schools are the 10% of schools with the lowest proportion of students from these communities.

However, a decile doesn't indicate the overall socio-economic mix of the students at a school.

It is important to understand that decile ratings are for funding purposes only - they are not an indication of the performance or quality of education delivered at a school or kura.

How are decile ratings worked out?

Decile ratings are based on Census data for households with school-aged children in each school’s catchment area. The data uses household measures such as income, parents on a benefit, occupation, education, and household crowding. 

Decile ratings are re-calculated very 5 years, after each Census.

See the Ministry of Education process for calculating decile ratings. 

How do I find out a school’s decile rating?

There are a number of ways you can find this out, although remember it only tells you about the funding a school gets from the government. 

You can ask the school or look up a school's decile rating using the Ministry's School Directory school finder tool - the decile rating is listed with each school’s information.

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