Hay Park at the top of its game

Central Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By ROSE CAW­LEY

WHAT im­age does a decile 1 school con­jure up for you?

Some peo­ple think: poor, un­der-achiev­ing, hun­gry kids.

But prin­ci­pal Mar­garet Aikman says Hay Park School in Mt Roskill school will not be de­fined by stereo­types.

The school dropped down from decile 2 to 1 when new rat­ings were an­nounced last week.

‘‘Of­ten peo­ple con­fuse what deciles re­ally mean; it is about ac­cess to fund­ing, not per­for­mance,’’ Aikman says.

Peo­ple need to step away from the com­monly mis­con­strued view and look at what is re­ally hap­pen­ing, she says.

‘‘We’ve got be­tween 80 to 85 per cent of our chil­dren achiev­ing at or above Na­tional Stan­dards,’’ she says.

But there than that.

Most schools are vis­ited by

is more to

it the Ed­u­ca­tion Re­view Of­fice, ERO, ev­ery three years – Hay Park re­ceives a four-tofive year re­view, which is some­thing only con­sis­tently top per­form­ing schools gain.

And last week it opened a new build­ing that in­cludes a li­brary, staffroom and class­room.

The school cel­e­brated the oc­ca­sion with its di­verse and vi­brant com­mu­nity.

Aikman says Na­tional Stan­dards has gone some way to dis­pelling the decile myth.

‘‘We’ve been able to show and re­ally prove to peo­ple that we are a high­per­form­ing school.’’

But Aikman says Hay Park still has to bat­tle the common white flight that oc­curs at low decile schools.

‘‘It is a real shame when you see the rich­ness that our stu­dents are ex­posed to,’’ she says.

‘‘The tol­er­ance, re­spect and abil­ity to com­mu­ni­cate cross-cul­tur­ally that they learn here is im­mea­sur­able and the best prepa­ra­tion for work­ing and liv­ing in New Zealand.’’

Decile rat­ings are cal­cu­lated from the lat­est cen­sus data.

Schools in higher so­cioe­co­nomic ar­eas re­ceive a higher rank­ing on a scale of one-to-10, but less gov­ern­ment fund­ing.

The lower the decile, the more fund­ing a school re­ceives.

Aikman says Hay Park, with a roll of 166, will re­ceive around $35,000 more.

‘‘That money will help us to con­tinue our great work,’’ she says.

Only 11 per cent of Auck­land schools will see their decile in­crease and almost 35 per cent have de­creased. More than half in Auck­land, almost 54 per cent, have no change.

Schools that lose fund­ing will not bear the full brunt of the changes un­til 2016, while those that stand to gain grants will get their boost from the be­gin­ning of next year.

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