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A Member’s Bill by East Coast Bays MP Erica Stanford to replace the school decile system with a needs index to better target funding to students at risk of underachievement has been drawn from the ballot today.

“By scrapping the decile system, we will remove a blunt instrument and replace it with a fairer school funding system that better reflects the needs of children and young people,” Ms Stanford says.

“My Education (Social Investment Funding and Abolition of Decile System) Amendment Bill will replace the decile system with a needs index that more accurately indicates which students are most at risk of not achieving in school and therefore in need of more support.

“This bill is about ensuring that schools are better equipped to have the funding and resources to help students with additional learning needs. It was developed because the decile system is not well targeted and has led to schools and students being stigmatised and unfairly judged.

“The needs index reflects a social investment approach and will better target funding to schools with students that evidence-based indicators show are most at risk of not achieving. These indicators would be determined by the Minister and must be updated annually.

“My bill will ensure that data is anonymised and safeguards are established to protect privacy. While it won’t be possible to identify the children that generate the funding, I have confidence that principals and teachers will know which young people need support.

“Under the policy National campaigned on, additional investment would be made to ensure that no school would see a reduction in their funding as a direct result of this change.

“Decile funding makes up less than three per cent of a school’s total funding and I would expect that schools receive at least the same level of funding that they would under the decile system, though some would gain significantly more.

“I trust the Government will keep an open mind about my bill, especially because it has talked about having a cross-party approach to child poverty – what better way to achieve that goal than to agree on targeting school funding to children who need the most support.

“I will be working with National’s education team to meet with schools across the country about my bill because I’m committed to ensuring that we have a fairer system that better supports every child to succeed.”

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