Families mustn’t be stigmatised by new system

The current school decile funding system needs to change but any new system mustn’t stigmatise children from the age of three, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.

“The decile funding system is a blunt instrument and can wrongly be seen by parents as a rating of school quality.

“However, basing a new system on just four factors including whether a parent has qualifications or is on a benefit would be even more problematic.

“It is crucial that any new system – that will assess children from early childhood – doesn’t stigmatise them or their parents. To say the children of all parents who have low levels of qualifications are at risk is simply wrong.

“It’s also important to ensure that so-called performance funding isn’t a component of the new funding system, as it will inevitably lead either to schools being punished for improving results or rewarded for worsening results.

“Socio-economics must continue to be one of the factors considered. All research and data shows these factors are contributing to the growth in inequality in New Zealand.

“Hekia Parata’s inability to answer even the most basic questions today about proposals the Government is currently considering doesn’t inspire confidence in the process,” Chris Hipkins says.