Education Minister Chris Hipkins’ decile announcement is little more than political theatre, National’s Education spokesperson Nikki Kaye says.

“In 2017 National announced it was going to scrap the decile system within two years, so schools would have a new system by next year. Mr Hipkins changed that decision and delayed the implementation of a new system for a further two years.

“For the Minister to pretend this is a new announcement after he has effectively made schools wait an additional two years is extraordinary.

“National had proposed a Risk Index and had even drafted legislation, which Labour voted down last year, to implement the new system.

“The Government has now claimed the Equity Index is somehow dramatically different. We will need to see the detail of the Equity Index, but it appears to just be a variation of the Risk Index. Fundamentally, it would still be using IDI data and it shouldn’t have taken two years for the Government to announce a variation of how that data will be used.

“At the time National committed that no school would lose out but the Government has been light on the detail today around specific funding, which will leave some schools wanting greater guarantees around their future funding.

“This is a Government that has been slow to address issues of equity for some of our most disadvantaged students, in some areas it has embedded further inequity through donations policy and learning support facilitators.”

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