Replacing Deciles with the Equity Index

Addressing the impacts of socio-economic disadvantage on learners’ outcomes is critical to ensuring all New Zealanders are supported to achieve their full potential. This aligns with the Government’s Child and Youth Wellbeing Strategy.

Cabinet has made an in-principle decision to replace school deciles with the Equity Index. The year that the shift will happen depends on the results of upcoming engagement with the sector, and on additional funding being available in future budgets. But it could be from the 2021 school year.

The Equity Index is a tool that better reflects the actual level of socio-economic disadvantage faced by children than the school decile system. Replacing school deciles with the Equity Index will enable better targeting of resourcing to mitigate the impacts of disadvantage.

The Equity Index now considers the whole school population when assessing the level of disadvantage in a school. This means that the Equity Index is more aligned with our research which shows that concentrations of disadvantage in a school matters for the achievement of all students, not just those who are most disadvantaged.

The Equity Index also uses a broad measure of educational success that considers the spectrum of students’ achievement across NCEA. This gives a more nuanced view of the equity challenge at each schools.

While the new methodology uses information about individual children, there are strict measures in place to protect children’s privacy.

The Ministry of Education will be engaging with the sector on how the Equity Index will work, how it could be used, the supports and services that it might apply to, and how any transition might be managed. These discussions are not about funding impacts on individual schools. But their results will help shape a package of supports for future budgets.

Equity Index information release


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