Hay Park at the top of its game
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.