Ministry funding deciles

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

From January 2023, deciles funding will be calculated using the Equity Index. Read more about the Equity Index(external link).

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 and the Equity Index which will apply from 2023 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.

School deciles(external link) — Ministry of Education

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.

Find schools in New Zealand(external link)

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