Prin­ci­pals dis­pute decile re­views

Matamata Chronicle - - News - By ABBY BROWN

Three Mata­mata schools who had their decile rat­ings re­viewed are not happy with the end re­sult.

Te Poi School prin­ci­pal Linda Larsen was ‘‘not very happy’’ that her 64-stu­dent school’s jump from decile five to seven was up­held.

‘‘I would love to know how they jus­tify it.’’

She said the school would make up the fund­ing short­fall, which would be ‘‘some­where around the $5000 mark’’, through fundrais­ing and ‘‘shav­ing money from bud­get’’.

This will mean in­stead of fundrais­ing for things like more iPads and im­prove­ments to the play­ground, the money will have to go to­wards day-to-day things like teacher aides.

‘‘It is an­noy­ing that the min­istry gives you your fund­ing to work out your bud­get first and then do the decile rat­ing re­view, in­stead of do­ing it the other way around.’’

Larsen was con­fi­dent her ‘‘bril­liant’’ com­mu­nity would get be­hind the school ‘‘just like they nor­mally do’’ and help out with fundrais­ing.

Firth School prin­ci­pal James Eldridge was ‘‘ not a happy chappy’’ af­ter his school’s rat­ing change, from 3H to 3I, was up­held in the re­view. ‘‘One let­ter means our op­er­a­tional grant will have $10,000 less,’’ he said.

He had been told by the min­istry he had one more chance to protest the re­view in Au­gust but must first record the in­come of all stu­dents’ fam­i­lies. ‘‘ Can you imag­ine all the fam­i­lies say­ing: oh yes you can know how much we earn,’’ he said. ‘‘I can’t go around knock­ing on 200 doors.’’

He was also frus­trated that his ‘‘neigh­bours across the pad­dock’’, Mata­mata In­ter­me­di­ate, which his school roll feeds into, gained $8000 from go­ing from decile six to decile five.

St Joseph’s Catholic School prin­ci­pal Yvonne Mar­shall was not go­ing to be ‘‘woe is me’’ about hav­ing their re­view of go­ing from a 3H to a five up­held, even though the fund­ing cut will cost the school ac­cess to a so­cial worker.

‘‘ As a small school we don’t want to be per­ceived as not be­ing able to of­fer ev­ery­thing that kids need,’’ she said. ‘‘In fact, what we do have goes around fur­ther.

‘‘Ten com­put­ers won’t go far in a big school but will for us.’’

The school, with a roll of 28, will lose $5000 of fund­ing over two years through the decile rat­ing re­view. Mar­shall said their fundrais­ing ac­tiv­i­ties nor­mally raised about that amount and the fund­ing cut would mean they just broke even af­ter fundrais­ing.

Decile rat­ings could be based on both or one of two things. It could re­flect the area a school draws its stu­dents from or the school’s fam­i­lies’ eco­nomic makeup.

Decile one is the low­est decile rat­ing, while 10 is the high­est.

Each rat­ing at­tached to it.

The Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion re­cently re­cal­cu­lated decile rat­ings for the first time in seven years, as the rat­ings are re­vised af­ter look­ing at cen­sus in­for­ma­tion. The cen­sus nor­mally hap­pens ev­ery five years but the Christchurch earth­quakes de­layed the 2011 cen­sus un­til 2013.

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Photo: ABBY BROWN

St Joseph’s Catholic School prin­ci­pal Yvonne Mar­shall is not ‘‘woe is me’’ af­ter the Min­istry of Ed­u­ca­tion up­held her school’s decile rat­ing in a re­view, even though the sub­se­quent fund­ing cut will cost the school ac­cess to a so­cial worker.

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