The Equity Index

The Equity Index is a new way to identify and respond to socio-economic barriers in schools and kura.

Level of compliance Main audience Other

Inform

  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
 

About the Equity Index

Too many children and young people face barriers to educational achievement because of their socio-economic circumstances and are not being adequately supported to reach their full potential.

We provide schools and kura with equity funding, in addition to their core funding, so they can work in different ways to reduce the impact socio-economic factors have on student achievement.

For many years we have used the decile system to allocate equity funding and to identify schools that would benefit from additional resources. However, a lot has changed since the decile system was introduced nearly 30 years ago.

We have access to improved data and a better understanding of the socio-economic factors that have the most impact on student achievement. We’ve used this information to develop the Equity Index (EQI).

The EQI is now used to determine a school’s level of equity funding. This change was effective from 1 January 2023.

Through Budget 2022 the Government has provided around a 50% ($75 million) increase in equity funding. We have more money that is better targeted to address equity issues.

It is important to note that neither deciles nor the EQI are measures of school quality. Rather, they are ways for us to understand the relationship between socio-economic circumstances and student achievement.

Key resources and analysis

Read more about the Equity Index.

How the Equity Index works

How the Equity Index applies to funding

The EQI shift and impact on other initiatives

The EQI and ISO: How we calculate funding

The EQI and ISO: Examples of transition funding

FAQs on the Equity Index

Download resources

Explainers

School and kura 2023 EQI numbers

Guidance for schools

Analysis

High-level summary factsheets

August 2022 information session for schools and kura

Video: Equity Index and Isolation Index information session


Transcript for Equity Index and Isolation Index information session

Helen

Nau mai, haere mai welcome everyone. Thank you very much for giving up your precious evening to spend some time with us learning about the Equity Index.

And we'll also be covering off the updates to the Isolation Index this evening.

Ko Helen Hurst toku ingoa I am Chief Operating Officer with the implementation and integration part of the Ministry.

I might just start with Karakia and then we'll get on and do a few introductions of the people presenting to you tonight.

Ka hikitia, ka hikitia, hikihikitia! Whakarewa ki runga rawa.

Herea kia kore e hoki whakamuri mai.

Poua atu Te Pūmanawa Māori.

He mana tikanga.

Me te uri o Maia.

Poipoia ngā mokopuna,

Ngā rangatira mō āpōpō

Ka tihei, tihei mauriora!

So we'll start, as I said, with a few introductions.

So as I said, my name's Helen Hurst, I'll be chairing the session this evening.

I wanted to start with introducing our presenters from the policy team.

So Alana, if I could start with you.

Alana

Kia ora koutou

My name's Alana Sullivan Vaughn. So as Helen just said, I'm from the policy team with the funding policy team, and we've been working on the Equity Index for quite a number of years.

And I'll just also pass to Jordan who's also here from the policy side.

Jordan

Kia ora and malo lava everyone. My name's Jordan, I'm a senior policy analyst in the funding policy team, and I'll be presenting on a few slides today as well. Thank you.

Helen

And we are also very privileged to have a couple of members from our sector reference group with us tonight as well. So welcome Allan Vester, who's chair.

Yeah. Welcome.

And we've also got Janine Reed from Te Waka Unua School. So welcome Janine.

We're going to cover a range of topics today. These are really been informed by the pātai that some of you sent in. So thank you for that.

We are aiming to cover a lot of material today and I did want to acknowledge right up front that we may not be able to answer all of your questions
that we get in the session today.

So in particular, I know that people are really keen to find out what does the Equity Index mean in terms of funding rates?

Obviously that's the million dollar question, one of the things that we need to do in order to be able to set those funding rates is we do need to understand the provisional rolls for 2023.

So that's the reason why we can't give you that detail yet, it will be available with your funding notices though in but today's session's really about
explaining the Equity Index and the changes for the Isolation getting you a good understanding of how it works and what the science is behind it.

And we'll also talk about some of the other initiatives that draw on the Equity Index or the Isolation Index.

So in terms of the overview, as I say, we'll start with the Isolation Index.

So the updates, those updates have been a little while coming. So Alana will start us there. Then we'll get into the Equity Index itself.

Talk about those other initiatives.

There's a few key takeaways that we'd like to leave you with.

And we're really gonna divide this session into two.

So the first half of the session we'll be presenting, if you have questions that crop up, because we do have quite a large group this evening, if you could pop those pātai in the chat, we've got a team of people that will be answering those questions as we go.

But the second half of the presentation tonight, we'll also spend some time going through those questions with you.

I did want to know, we have been asked by some of your sector colleagues who can't make it for us to record the session.

So we're going to record that first half of the session where we do the presentation.

We won't record the pātai, but we will make sure that we update the FAQs following the session.

So everyone will have access to the same information.

And if there's anything that we can't answer tonight, we'll get back to people in the next few days to make sure those questions are answered.

Maybe just before we get started on the Isolation Index, I wonder Allan, did you wanna say a few words before we get going?

Allan

If I might, yes.

What I wanted to say is that for those who'd been in education for a long time, decile of was a quantum improvement on what went before decile, there was effectively no real structured equity funding at all.

You had to apply on an annual basis and you were never 100% sure how much money you were going to get.

So decile was the big improvement and it was based on information that was available.

In 2016, Minister Parata set up a group and I began working with her at that point to replace decile with an Equity Index.

So this has been an ongoing and lengthy process, and I really wanna give a good word really for the ministry on this.

I've been involved and been fortunate to be involved in a lot of ministry innovations over the years.

I would have to say that this one is the first one where we started with Principals involved right at the start.

And there was nothing in place. It wasn't as if there was a ministry plan and we were being asked to respond to it.

We actually came in at the ground floor while the process was still being developed.

And I think it's been a great model. And it's one I really recommend.

So I'd like to thank the ministry for that.

So that's the first thing I'd like to say.

Second thing I'd like to say because there's a number of board members here tonight.

What we can do now with the Equity Index is huge improvement because we have information that we didn't have previously.

And there'll be quite a lot of talk about the integrated data infrastructure, but basically that's giving an enormous amount of data about all of us, of which a number of those people have gone from birth to sitting NCEA.

So now we have data on their lives up until that point. And now we have the NCEA results.

So we're able to do a level of analysis, which I've asked with Josh in the past, I don't think there will be almost any other jurisdictions internationally that could do what we do partially because we have the IDI and partially because we have a single qualification structure that all New Zealand students, almost all New Zealand students are involved in.

So I guess what I'm trying to say to board members is I want you to have real confidence in the process.

The process that's gone to create this I think has been as rigorous and as fair as possible.

And of course you'll be concerned as board members and principals, because anything which could impact on your funding makes you nervous.

And I hope that if this all works out well for every school, but the reality is that this system is so much fairer and so much better targeted than decile
that that would be wrong not to have it.

So I don't think there's anyone's here tonight who doesn't think we have an equity funding of some sort.

And I think of the ones that we could have, I believe we've got the best that's possible.

And my last little word is really a word of caution and a request really, people.

There will be those in the media and there'll be those in our education system and certainly in real estate who would like to use the EQI for purposes other than for which it was created.

There is no educational justification at all for using the EQI for doing anything except targeting support for children and for schools.

So I want to say that upfront, I couldn't be more direct about that. If you're using the EQI for something other understanding the support that your students get, then you are actually misusing it.

So I guess that's the lecture from me. So I'm hoping that all of the people who are here tonight will recognize that EQI is not a measure of school quality.

It's a measure of how can we target results and for resources best for our students.

And I hope that everybody who's here this evening can get out there and spread that message so that what is a really good system is not undermined.

So that's my, I guess my lecture for the evening, but if you can, I know the ministry would be very pleased.

I've been involved in this for many years and I certainly would be happy to see it being used well.

So thank you for the opportunity Helen, and I'll go to mute and off you go.

Helen

Thanks, Allan.

Alana, I'll hand over to you.

Alana

Thanks Helen.

So as Helen said before, we're going to start off with a quick overview of the changes that we're making to the Isolation Index.

So the Isolation Index was introduced in 2001, when the government introduced it as a replacement for targeted rural funding.

It measures the relative degree of isolation each school faces by measuring how far away they are from population centers of different sizes.

This is important because we know that more isolated schools and kura face higher costs for certain things, for example, accessing trades and services if something breaks down or if they need to get something shipped.

And we know that some of our schools are really far away from a reasonable sized town.

So we introduced the Isolation Index in 2001, and it's still using information from 2001.

So by that, I mean it's using road information from 2001 and also information about town sizes from census 2001.

As you can see on the slide there, there are a number of different types of funding that we use the Isolation Index and for determining eligibility.

So the main one is targeted funding for isolation.

That's a component of some schools' operational grants, and it's around $9 million in total.

Goes to around 20% of our schools so just under 500 and eligible schools receive a base component and then a per-student component as well that's weighted by isolation.

There's three other funding mentioned on that slide as well.

So there's a property maintenance grant, which has an isolation component to it as well,

5YA funding, which is your property funding as well.

And the Voluntary Bonding Scheme, which is available for very, very isolated schools.

So why are we changing?

We're changing because we've heard clearly from the sector that school size is really strongly linked to the impact of isolation.

So smallness actually compounds isolation.

We've also heard that both distance and travel time are important in understanding where isolation is really felt and the old measure wasn't able to tell us that.

So we're confident that these changes that we're making will help us better identify and allocate resources to our most isolated schools and kura

In many cases, schools and kura will have noticed their Isolation Index is lower than the old one.

As you can see on the slide here, what has actually happened from the changes that we've made is that the scale has changed.

What that means is that our eligibility thresholds for different types of resourcing will need to shift downwards as well.

But as we said at the beginning of the session, we'll need to release more information about exactly how those are changing in September.

On the next slide here, we have some more detail on what exactly is changing.

So first of all, making changes to the Isolation Index itself.

There are four main changes there.

So as I mentioned, we are wanting to include distance and travel time now as well.

So at the moment we are only measuring distance.

We know that steep and/or windy roads increase isolation and trades people providing services to isolated schools often charge for both time and distance.

So in the new calculation, distance and travel time have equal weighting.

That reflects the fact that some roads are much more difficult to drive on and therefore the effective isolation is higher.

This is quite a significant change, which we're confident better reflects the actual isolation experienced by schools and kura.

The second change that's referenced in that table is that we're updating the census information that we use.

So that's the information that we're using to tell us how big different towns and cities are.

So moving from 2001 to 2018 information there.

That can actually have a pretty significant shift in some areas because some of the areas as you'll know have urbanized and grown and others have shrunk.

I mentioned that we use road data as well. So that's what we're using to measure time and distance.

So at the moment we're using 2001 road data, updating that to 2020 road data.

And the fourth change mentioned in that table is that the largest populations centre that we measure schools' distance to is being reduced from 100,000 to 60,000.

This is based on a better understanding of where isolation is more strongly felt.

So over the last 20 years, many towns and cities have grown.

So we have population centers of 100,000 people or more.

We have many more of them.

Population centers of 60,000 are generally considered to be able to provide all of the goods and services needed by schools moreso than 20 years ago, which is why we've made that change there.

We're also making a change to the formula for targeted funding isolation as well.

So I mentioned on the previous slide that we'd heard sector feedback that smallness actually compounds isolation, but the impact of having the per pupil component in that formula at the moment is that it actually skews the funding towards larger schools that are less isolated.

So what we're doing is removing that per pupil component and making sure that the funding goes to our more isolated schools and kura.

So we're now moving on the Equity Index.

So I'll start off our presentation on this as well, and then hand over to Jordan to talk through some more of the funding implications.

I'm sure most of you will have heard a fair amount about the Equity Index by now.

It's something we've been working on in the ministry for quite a number of years as a new way to identify and respond to socioeconomic barriers in schools and kura.

The work started over five years ago.

And the question that we were asked at that time was basically can we do better than deciles?

And the simple answer to that was yes,

as Allan was referencing, we introduced the decile system almost 30 years ago, and while it was progressive for its time, the information and the data and modelling that we have access to now is much more advanced.

And we also know a lot more about what impacts on student achievement.

So that's why we've developed the Equity Index.

From the start of next year we'll be phasing out deciles and replacing them with the Equity Index.

The other important thing that's happening at the same time is that we are giving a big boost to equity funding.

So an extra $75 million a year that will be going directly to schools and kura.

You'll see on this slide a snapshot of our main operational resourcing for schools.

You'll see most of it goes to teacher salaries or staffing entitlement, roughly a quarter of it is operational grant funding or the cash that goes to schools to meet their costs.

And then within that operational grant, we have the funding that is already targeted to equity.

So most of that is decile funding.

As you can see, it's a fairly small proportion of the overall resourcing schools get, at the moment it's around 2.5%, of course, for an individual school, it might make up quite a lot of their funding, but at a system level it's pretty small.

So from 2023, we'll see that grow by another $75 million.

Why change? Why have we done all this work?

Well firstly, we know that socioeconomic status matters.

Our education system does well for many learners, but we see that socioeconomic barriers have led to gaps in student achievement.

And this has been a persistent problem over many years.

This doesn't just impact education.

Those impacts can be lifelong from reduced income potential and employment opportunities to an increased likelihood of interacting with the justice and welfare systems.

We also know that at the moment, we don't have enough equity resourcing in the system.

I mentioned just previously that currently it only makes up 2.5% of our total resourcing, in comparison, the OECD average sits at around 6%.

So the extra $75 million doesn't get us to that point, but it is a significant boost.

The decile system itself has limitations that mean we're not targeting equity resourcing as best we can.

I'm sure you all have seen deciles being labelled blunt or out of date.

They were introduced in 1995 and they use census information based on five equally weighted factors, which we measure just at one point in time so on census day.

On top of that, census information only goes down to a neighbourhood level, usually looking at groupings of about 60 households and averaging out the socioeconomic information across all of the households in that group.

What this can do is sometimes disguise the socioeconomic challenges that some schools are facing.

And the last point up on this slide is around the public misconceptions that exist around the decile system.

They're fairly frequently used as a proxy for quality, not too surprising when we have a system that starts at one and goes to 10, but that has led to stigma and we can't necessarily solve that, but we can take this opportunity to try and shift those attitudes and address misconceptions.

What is the Equity Index?

The Equity Index is a statistical model that tells us the extent to which a school's students face socio-economic barriers that could get in the way of them achieving at school.

The index was built by looking at the circumstances and results of past students.

It identifies 37 socioeconomic variables that this research shows are linked to NCEA level one and two achievement.

Broadly, the variables fall into the four categories on this slide here.

So first there's the parental socioeconomic indicators.

Studies have shown that educational success depends very strongly on the socio-economic status of a student's parents.

The second circle there has child socioeconomic factors, children who've experienced poverty, abuse, or neglect are more at risk of poor educational achievement.

National background

So the national background or immigration status of parents has also been found to be an important mediating variable on the effect of socioeconomic status
on children's educational achievement.

And the fourth grouping of variables is transience.

So research suggests that students who move home or school frequently are more likely to underperform in formal education when compared with students
that have a more stable school life.

The Equity Index is then able to take what we've learned about the relationships between variables and educational achievement from past students and apply this to the current student population.

On this slide I'm going to go into a bit more technical detail on how the index works.

So I mentioned it's a statistical model using 37 variables.

This is all information that's housed in the Statistics New Zealand Integrated Data Infrastructure or IDI. The IDI is basically a big data warehouse
of information from a whole range of different government agencies, from NGOs, and from Statistics New Zealand's own surveys like the census.

The information that we use in the Equity Index is all administrative data from other government agencies like MSD or Oranga Tamariki, Inland Revenue and a few others as well.

A few important things to note about the IDI and the data that we use.

So first all the data is de-identified.

This means information like names, dates of birth, addresses have been removed,and any numbers that can be used to identify a person are encrypted.

This means that you cannot identify an individual in the IDI.

And second, only vetted and approved people can access data in the IDI.

And there are very strict privacy and confidentiality controls in place to make sure that privacy is protected.

We understand the value of this information and we've worked very closely with Statistics New Zealand, other government agencies, the office of the privacy commissioner, and an external independent technical reference group to ensure that the index uses data appropriately and that the index does what it is meant to do.

So how does it do that?

First, as I mentioned, the model looks at cohorts of children from the last 20 years who've already been through the school system and how well
they achieved at NCEAs level one and two.

We use this information to give us the 37 socioeconomic factors we know impact on students' achievement the most, and to understand how those factors interact and impact on each other.

We then look at the socioeconomic characteristics of our current student population to identify which of those factors are present in their lives.

We do this at an individual student level to make an assessment of the barriers that students may be facing.

Then the third step is to then bring this up to the school level.

So we look at all the learners in each school, the barriers they may be facing and then make an average.

This produces an EQI number, Equity Index number for each school between 344 and 569.

A higher Equity Index number tells us that students at that school on average face greater socioeconomic barriers to achievement than a school with a lower Equity Index number.

And this number is then what we'll use to determine each school's level of funding.

One question that we have had on this in the past is whether by looking at achievement, this means that schools that are doing well will get less funding.

In short, no.

NCEA achievement of past students nationally was used to create the Equity Index.

So this means that a school or individual student's actual achievement does not have any bearing on the funding that the school would receive or the Equity Index calculation.

So what is the difference?

How is the Equity Index helping us to target funding more accurately?

So the first box, one of the most important differences between decile and the Equity Index is that with the index, we're able to look at individual learners attending each school.

We mentioned a couple of times decile uses census information.

So they're looking at average neighbourhood information with mesh blocks of roughly 60 households.

The index can actually look at individual learners, their circumstances, and they're the learners that are attending their school.

Second, it looks at a much broader set of socioeconomic factors.

And each one of them is something that we know impacts on educational success.

By contrast, the decile system was only looking at five equally weighted factors, and they were all binary measures captured at that one point in time every five years.

That brings us to the third box here, which is that the index allows us to use much more up to date information.

And it's something that we can then update every year, rather than waiting for that census.

And then the final box speaks to that much broader range between 344 and 569.

This means that the index better reflects the nuanced situations in which schools operate instead of clumping schools into those bands of 10.

We're just gonna pass over to Jordan to speak to the funding in a bit more detail.

Jordan

Thanks Alana.

Kia ora guys.

So Alana's given you guys a bit of information about what the index is, how we've developed it and how it differs to the previous decile system.

So I'm gonna touch on how we are going to apply that information to allocate resourcing to schools, and so shifting to this new tool that we have, the Equity Index, this has given us an opportunity to really revisit the old decile funding model.

And so, as you all know, the decile system uses a stepped funding approach for decile weighted operational grant components.

And this is a really simple and easy to understand system.

So the graph to the right there shows sort of a basic visualization of how these funding steps sort of currently look in the system, noting that there are 18 funding steps, this are funding steps, but just for ease of visualization, that graph sort of shows 10 of those funding steps and how that currently works.

And if we look at the decile funding model, it had some key limitations.

And so decile funding steps could create funding cliffs where schools could see a significant reduction or gain in per student funding when moving between deciles.

And there are three sort of key ways, these three key limitations that are noted in these bullets on this slide.

So firstly, when deciles are recalculated every five years, and that's only when that's possible, we note that there have been times when census has been delayed, for example, after the Christchurch earthquake or the 2018 census information was also delayed.

So sometimes that period of time can be longer than expected, but when deciles are recalculated every five years or whenever a census is available,
population change over that time can result in sudden significant change for schools for student funding based on this stepped funding model that we currently use.

Secondly, we know that the stepped funding approach relates to how these Decile based groupings creates arbitrary sort of hard funding thresholds or cliffs.

And so this can result in schools on either side of a threshold cliff significantly getting different funding rates per student despite the socioeconomic profiles potentially being quite similar.

So for example, a decile four school on the cusp of being decile three will receive $120 less per student, despite potentially having a really similar socioeconomic profile as a decile the school.

And lastly, because of these decile based bands, all these arbitrary cut-offs that we've placed because of the decile system, this means that schools within
the band receive the exact same per student amount in terms of funding.

So despite potentially having quite different socioeconomic profiles within the decile band, all schools within that band, potentially 250 schools within that band will receive the exact same per student rate, despite potentially looking really different and potentially facing quite different socioeconomic barriers.

So shifting to the Equity Index has given us an opportunity to also look at redesigning how the equity funding model works.

And so more specifically, we're now moving across to a model which applies what we're calling a funding curve.

This means that rather than having 18 per student funding rates based on school deciles, a funding curve allows us to provide a different per student funding rate along each point of the index.

This creates many, many more funding rates than there are currently under the decile system.

Being able to redesign the funding model to apply a funding curve has really allowed us to design the curve in a way that supports giving higher rates of funding to a wider group of schools facing those greater socioeconomic barriers by also balancing the need to target additional resources towards schools with more moderate barriers as well.

We were able to consult with that essentially on the spending curve of design process as well.

So there are some other key things to note about this new funding curve approach that we're applying with the Equity Index.

So firstly, the smooth funding curve helps to mitigate really big movements in per student funding year on year for schools.

This can help schools provide some predictability of resourcing and allow you to plan year to year.

And the second thing to note about this new approach is that you'll see that there's a short flat section at the bottom left on the graph on screen.

So previously the decile system gave a $0 per student rate to approximately 11% of schools.

So all decile 10 schools.

Under the new funding system, it will apply a $0 per student rate for around 5% of schools.

And then the per student rate will gradually increase from that point onwards.

So you'll find out more funding.

So Helen touched on this earlier, but you'll find out more funding information in September as part of your usual funding processes.

This will include how much equity funding and isolation funding you're getting as well as any transition funding for the small proportion of schools that lose funding.

So annual updates.

So the index has, as Alana mentioned earlier, the index has been designed to limit significant annual funding movements.

So the annual measure's updated to include the latest available student information.

So it uses student population information from the last three years to ensure that the index both reflects changes at the school over time while also moving slowly enough that changes are manageable.

Switching to this funding curve.

As I mentioned, rather than that stepped funding model that we use with the decile system, this helps to limit some of those significant funding shifts as well.

And the last thing to note is that for the smaller schools and some particular types of schools, for example, teen parent units or activity centers, these schools are automatically given a notional Equity Index to reflect either their sort of particular challenges or the unique sort of operating settings.

And so this approach sort of reflects the current system that we have under deciles where these school types are also given a notional allocation of a decile 1A under the current system as well.

So where will the EQI be used?

So from the 1st of January 2023, the Equity Index will be used to replace a few of the operational grant components that currently apply to deciles.

So the first change that's happening is the targeted funding for education achievement, or your sort of traditional decile funding, as well as the targeted at risk grant.

Both of those will be combined as well as the additional of that $75 million that Alana mentioned earlier.

All of that will be combined to create a new line in the operational grant called equity funding.

The special is a decile weighted portion of the special education grant.

That will also be shifting over to be weighted based on the Equity Index rather than deciles.

And similarly with the careers information grant, the portion of funding that is weighted based on deciles currently in the careers information grant will now be shifted over to be targeted using the Equity Index.

So how will this apply to operational funding?

So with the additional $75 million or that 50% increase in equity funding per year, majority of schools and kura will receive an increase in funding.

So we'll be looking to support these schools with some guidance on how this additional funding could be used to support learners facing
these socioeconomic barriers.

And we'll also be testing this with our sector reference group as well.

So some schools and kura may qualify for less funding under this new system.

And for those circumstances, we'll be providing transition funding.

So they have time to plan and adapt and to manage the shift over time.

So for the 2023 year, no school or kura will experience a reduction in the per student equity funding, as well as the isolation funding due to these changes.

And from 2024 onwards, any reduction in funding will be capped at 5% per annum of a school's 2022 ops grant.

And this ensures that this funding is phased out over time.

So changes to the funding systems can be disruptive and you'll know that following previous decile re-collaborations, there could be quite harsh transitions.

However, what we've been able to do this time around is to provide schools with additional transitional funding arrangements to help smooth those impacts.

And so the graph on screen currently, so this gives our current projections for schools' gains or reductions relative to the operational grant following this change.

And I guess the key thing to note here are the words likely and projected, again, just harking back to what Helen's mentioned, we won't know actual funding implications for schools until we go through the September funding processes and once we know schools' provisional rolls for next year, but this is sort of based on our best current assumptions and projections that we can do currently.

And what you can see is the addition of that $75 million per year is really helping to mitigate some of those larger impacts for most schools' funding.

As you can see, the vast majorities you see there increase.

So last one from me.

So when schools get their funding notices, so to calculate these funding rates as mentioned, we need the provisional rolls.

So in September, you'll receive a letter with your Equity Index and your isolation funding rates, and details of any transitional support for you if that's applicable.

And just one last thing to note in terms of our review process, we're considering whether a review process could apply.

And if so, what that might look like noting that the Equity Index is both more up to date than the previous decile system and uses actual student level information.

This is calculated with the Stats NZ IDI.

So that's something that we're still working through.

So that's just something that we're still considering.

And I'll hand it back over to Helen.

Helen

Thanks Jordan.

I've just noticed in the chat you are very quiet this evening, which is fine, that it may be that we are covering all the key points, but if you do have questions, pop those in the chat and we'll either answer those as we go or shortly we'll be breaking to have...

Here's a couple straightaway. Excellent.

Some of you, if you've had a chance to look at the material on the Equity Index on our website might have seen some charts that look a little bit like this,
this is a picture of what the average Equity Index number looks like by region.

So you can see the parts of the country where the Equity Index is higher and effectively that means the socioeconomic barriers for students is on average
higher in those regions.

National average of 463.

So you'll have received notification of your own number and you'll have a sense of where that you might sit in relation to that.

We will be providing more regional analysis at the time that we have the funding implications known.

So we'll be publishing quite a bit of information that will give you a much better appreciation of what the Equity Index and the Isolation Index impacts are for your region.

I also just wanted to note we are looking at running some specific sessions for kura and Wharekura.

So we are working with our regional teams at the moment to set those up, again, we'll wait til we've got the funding implications so that we can bring all that information together and have really good conversation about what the impact of the EQI is for kura and Wharekura.

So in terms of implementation, what the impact's going to be beyond the operational grant impact, we have completed a stock take across ministry initiatives, and we've identified 35 or slightly over 35 I think now different initiatives that currently use either the decile system or the isolation index or a combination of both.

And we use the decile system in different ways for those.

So sometimes it's an eligibility criteria.

So for example, deciles are used for determining which schools have been able to opt into the donation scheme.

We use it sometimes as part of a formula.

So the operational components that Jordan was talking about earlier is an example of that, and we also use decile for reporting purposes.

So we are gradually working that through.

We wanna take our time to work through the implications of moving from decile to Equity Index.

We've got the advantage with the operations grant, that there's a significant investment of additional funding, that 50% increase in equity funding that allows us to ensure that any redistribution of funding is done fairly and by far in a way that the vast majority of schools will benefit from the implementation of the Equity Index.

So we'll take some time, but we'll work with the sector and keep you informed of other initiatives that use decile that we are looking to move to equity.

But there's a couple of areas that I did want to just walk you through, which are the areas where not surprisingly, we're getting the most questions on.

So the first one is the donation scheme.

So we know this scheme has created some really positive changes in the sector.

We don't wanna undo any of that work.

So effectively for donations, any school or kura that is currently eligible for this scheme will be able to stay in the scheme so long as they opt in every year.

So it doesn't matter if the Equity Index would put you to a place where you would no longer be eligible, if you've opted in and you stay opted in, you absolutely can stay there.

However, if you do choose to opt out at any point, then you would need to wait until such time that the Equity Index met the criteria again.

So I guess if you are in there, you can stay in there.

There will also be a new threshold of eligibility for the Equity Index, and we are gonna be in touch really soon with those schools that will be newly eligible with further information about how the scheme works, and you'll have plenty of time to consult with your community prior to making a decision.

So that's where we're at on the donation scheme.

The other initiative that I wanted to talk about was the Ka Ora, Ka Ako.

So this is the healthy school lunches scheme that was implemented a couple of years ago.

So that scheme, that initiative rather targets the top 25% of students in schools and kura that are facing the greatest socioeconomic barriers nationally.

So the original allocation was based on 2019 index numbers among other things.

But that was a primary factor that was used to determine who was able to join that scheme.

This will be updated to reflect the 2023 Equity Index numbers from January.

So again, where schools and kura have already signed up to the program, even if they fall outside of the 25% of students, they'll be able to remain in that program regardless in any changes in their Equity Index.

Schools and kura who have been invited to join, but previously declined will still be able to rejoin on an annual basis.

And we are also anticipating that there'll be a small number of schools and kura that will be eligible for Ka Ora, Ka Ako in 2023.

So again, we'll be making contact with those schools in September

talking through the program and talking through the opportunity to get involved with that initiative.

There's just one kind of last thing I wanted to cover this evening before we get into your pātai.

And it's really, I think Allan touched on this at the beginning.

We're really conscious that learners are susceptible to the perceptions of others that many students who face socioeconomic barriers go on to achieve really well within our education system.

And the decile system has been subject to misuse if you like in terms of that proxy for quality that sometimes gets used both in the media and sometimes real estate advertising, et cetera.

So we may not be able to avoid that entirely with the Equity Index, but we are doing all that we can to educate both the public media.

We'll be talking to the likes of the real estate institute, Trade Me and others try to get a sense of what the Equity Index is and what it isn't.

We're really working hard to move away from any deficit focused language and focus more on what the Equity Index is trying to achieve.

It's about helping all learners to achieve their potential regardless of their circumstances.

So we are using terms like Equity Index numbers rather than Equity Index ratings.

So there are a few things.

I do think this is something that all of us across the sector can have a really powerful role in in terms of calling out those misperceptions when you hear them, avoiding use of Equity Index numbers in your promotional material.

We talked about the strength-based language, but also letting us know if you need anything to help you with communicating with your community around what the index is and what it does.

So that pretty much brings us to the end of our formal presentation.

 

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