Wakatipu High stuck with rich’ rating

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A much-needed decile review for Wakatipu High is a definite no-no, according to board chairman Peter Doyle.

The Queenstown school has long been unhappy with its decile 10 rating – the highest given by the Ministry of Education – and claims it doesn’t fit the profile of other decile 10 schools in New Zealand.

Deciles are calculated from census data to determine state funding – the “richer” the students’ parents, the higher the decile and the less money from the Government.

Wakatipu High came close to asking for an official review a few months ago, Doyle confirms.

“We thought we could but it is honestly, in two words, too hard.”

The school would have to survey parents on specific socio-economic criteria like household income, occupational skill levels of parents, household crowding, percentage of parents with low educational qualifications, and the percentage on income support.

“We spoke to the Ministry people about it and they said, ‘good luck, if you want to tackle it that’s fine’.

They threw a whole heap of hurdles in front of us and none of us have got time to do it,” Doyle says.

“It was a lot more involved than what we originally thought. Even if you went through the whole thing, there’s no guarantee you’ll even get a review.

“We rang [Wanaka’s] Mount Aspiring College and they said they’d gone through some of the process and then they bailed out so they’re still a [decile] 10…I spoke to a couple of people on the board over there and they just said forget it, don’t even attempt it.”