Comparing South Auckland decile 1 schools

Radio NZ report:

South Auckland Middle School asked for a review of its decile rating last year and in June the Ministry of Education decided it was a decile 1C school, meaning it had a high concentration of from the most disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Charter schools – which the government calls partnership schools or kura hourua – are funded as if they are decile 3 schools, but can ask for a review once they reach their maximum roll.

Now the unions always say it is unfair to compare decile 1 schools and decile 10 schools as decile 1 schools have the poorest families and poverty is the main cause of educational under achievement.

So now we know SAMS is a decile 1 school, we’ll do what the unions say and compare it to other decile 1 schools in their neighbourhood, plus a decile 7 and decile 10 school.


So SAMS students are achieving at twice the level of the public decile 1 schools. Their achievement level is on par with that of a typical decile 7 school and now too far off a decile 10 school.

So surely the unions would be over the moon that you have a decile 1 school achieving such great results. But no, they go for excuses:

Post Primary Association president Angela Roberts said the school’s results were not comparable to those of regular decile one schools.

She said the fact parents had to apply to enter a ballot to enrol at the charter school meant it was enrolling a different cohort from neighbouring schools which accepted whoever turned up, even if it was during the middle of the year.

“The moment you have even a ballot process, you are already in a selection process,” she said.

Oh what crap. It is a random ballot, not a selection process where you can pick the best students. Any impact is at best minor and in no way can explain the massive gulf in performance.

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