Decile reviews

Learn about the reviewing of school deciles.

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  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Boards


Each year your school can request a review of its decile if you believe your catchment area or socio-economic circumstances have changed significantly.

Decile Review 2021

Cabinet has agreed that deciles will not be recalculated using the 2018 Census information. The Ministry of Education is exploring the replacement of the school decile system with an Equity Index. Schools can still seek a decile review until deciles are replaced but this will be based on 2013 Census information. The Decile Review 2021 opens on Monday 19 July 2021.

In the five-year period between the recalculation of deciles with new Census data, schools are able to seek a review of their decile annually. This enables schools to seek a reassessment of their decile in situations where the catchment area or socio-economic profile of their community has changed.

Each year schools can apply for a review of their decile rating if they believe there's been a significant change in the school's roll profile since the original five-yearly assessment was made.

To apply for a review of decile rating, schools need to supply information which is outlined in the application pack. The application pack, including information about how to apply for a decile review, and templates for use is available on the Education Counts website.

Education Counts(external link)

Applications for the 2021 Decile Review must be received before 5pm Monday 20 September 2021.

Reviews will be processed from this date and results of the review will be provided by the end of the school year.

Valid grounds for a review

Your school can apply for a review of its decile based on one or both of these grounds:

  • a significant change to your school’s catchment area.
  • a significant change in the socio-economic status of your students.

The change must be specific and dramatic. Apart from small schools, few experience enough change to make a change in decile necessary. Some examples of significant change are:

  • your community is very small and the arrival or departure of families has changed the character of the area 
  • the character of housing development in your area has changed
  • a large number of people in your community have been made redundant.

Contact your regional office to discuss if your school has valid grounds to apply for a review.

Local Ministry offices

When to apply for a decile review

We advertise the annual review period in the Education Gazette and School Leaders Bulletin in August each year.

Education Gazette website(external link)

School Leaders Bulletin

The deadline for review applications is usually the end of September.

How to apply for a decile review

Decile review application packs can be downloaded from the Education Counts website.

Education Counts website(external link)

Alternatively, you can request an application pack.


If your school emails the decile reviews mailbox, we'll follow up with your school at the end of the application period if we haven't received a completed application.

All information required to complete a decile review application is included in the pack. Read the included documents carefully before submitting your application.

What evidence your school needs to supply

We calculate deciles based on five socio-economic indicators that affect academic achievement, so you need to provide evidence relating to these indicators.

The information must be more up to date than the latest Census information.

Census 2013 – Stats NZ website(external link)

School deciles tell you about the five indicators and how we use them to calculate your school’s rating.

School deciles

Evidence is collected using templates included in the decile review application pack.

What happens after a review

If your application is successful your new decile rating will take effect at the beginning of the next school year. This will be shown on the entitlement notice you receive with your January Instalment of operational funding.

If your application isn't successful your school won't be disadvantaged because of the review. Deciles can't increase as the result of a decile review. Your school’s decile will simply remain as it is.

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