A few facts about the funding review

Issue: Volume 95, Number 16

Posted: 5 September 2016
Reference #: 1H9d4K

As you know, the Ministry is testing possible changes to how we fund our education systems for 0 to 18-year-olds. We are focused on ensuring that our education system is supported and set-up to make sure that all children and young people progress and achieve in their education.

As part of a wide-ranging work programme looking across our education settings the Ministry is in the early stages of exploring whether the over $11 billion per annum that is currently provided for early childhood education and schooling can be directed to better support all children’s learning.

A Funding Advisory Group was set up by the Secretary of Education to test seven possible ideas for change. Working together to test ideas like this had never been done before.

Normally, advisory groups are set up to work through the design of a policy already decided by Cabinet, or to discuss policy implementation. This time, however, an advisory group was specifically established to test and to work through possible changes to our education system before any decisions have been made as to what those changes should be. We have also been talking to the wider sector at this pre-policy stage to ensure any further work is well scoped.

This is a unique first. The Ministry feels that both we, and the funding review itself, have benefited from this early engagement on such an important issue.

We have put up some ideas of what we think could work and have been seeking input from education leaders over the last three months to test these ideas. Alongside a Funding Review Advisory Group made up of 18 senior sector representatives, we have held over 80 meetings across the country that have been attended by more than 2,500 people from across the education system.

We think a good funding system, one based on the child, should be much simpler. So we have been testing three big ingredients:

  • Per child funding amount for schools and ECE services that reflects what is needed to deliver the curriculum to children.
  • An additional amount for children and young people at most risk of educational underachievement. Here, we want to see if we can replace the decile system with an alternative that gives extra support to our most vulnerable students, without unfairly stigmatising them, or their schools. 
  • Supplementary funding for small and isolated schools and services to ensure these services are viable.
  • There are four supporting proposals:
  • A global budget for schools, for better flexibility and simplified administration.
  • Clear expectations and better information on the link between funding and educational outcomes.
  • Separating funding for property-related costs, for more clarity between property and learning costs.
  • A direct link between the private school subsidy and the per-child funding amount provided to state schools.

Next steps

No final decisions on any of the proposed changes have been made.

The Advisory Group is preparing a report to the Minister with their views on the proposed changes. The Minister of Education will then decide which of the proposals will go to Cabinet, where she will seek permission for further detailed policy work to be done. No changes would be made to the funding system before 2019 at the earliest to allow for any design and implementation issues to be worked through.

For more detailed information about the Funding Systems Review, please visit the Ministry Of Education website(external link)

BY Education Gazette editors
Education Gazette | Tukutuku Kōrero, reporter@edgazette.govt.nz

Posted: 8:27 pm, 5 September 2016

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