School funding changes put vulnerable kids at risk

Radical changes to the school funding system have not been thought through and will ultimately mean less funding for schools, the Green Party said today.

The Government has announced that the school decile system will be scrapped and replaced by a new predictive index which targets individual children at risk.

“What this will ultimately mean in the long run is less money for schools who are working with communities with fewer resources”, said Green Party education spokesperson Catherine Delahunty.

“The new system puts vulnerable children at risk of being identified and stigmatised at school, which is the last thing they need.

“Rather than focusing on good systems which work for diverse communities, the Government is obsessed with an individualised approach based on a narrow set of criteria. Kids need support at school for a wide variety of reasons, and their teachers and communities need reliable funding to help them learn.

“The best way to ensure that at-risk children are looked after is to fund schools properly and give extra support where it is needed, without schools having to ‘prove’ children have the right risk factors to secure the money.

“Schools are right to be nervous that this is a funding cut in disguise, and that the timeframes for implementing it are unrealistic, putting kids at risk.

“National agreed to work through their proposed changes with teachers and experts to get it right – now it looks like they are forcing this through quickly for political gain,” said Ms Delahunty.

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