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School resources insufficient, regardless of decile

Media release: School resources insufficient, regardless of decile

11am Monday 6 November 2017

Only 8% of primary and intermediate principals found their school operational funding sufficient in 2016, and just under half reduced their spending. Principals’ views of the insufficiency of resources were unrelated to school decile.

These are some of the findings in a new report from the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER) National Survey of Primary and Intermediate Schools 2016.

As well as the shortfall in operational funding, principals’ responses indicated a growing shortfall in staffing since 2013.

Two-thirds of principals were using their operational funding and locally raised funds to employ additional teaching staff. Schools mainly used additional staff to teach classes, support literacy or numeracy, or support students with additional learning needs.

The proportion of schools having difficulty finding suitable teachers had doubled since 2013, to 41%.

‘Decile was associated with a school’s ability to find suitable staff,’ Cathy Wylie said. ’Sixty-four percent of decile 1–2 schools had difficulty, compared with 31% of decile 9–10 schools.’

Lower decile schools were more likely to be affected by student mobility and transience. This has an impact on school resourcing because of the uncertainty about staffing, and the cost of establishing programmes to support students who change schools unexpectedly during the year.

The NZCER survey got responses from a nationally representative sample of 349 English-medium state and state-integrated primary and intermediate schools. The survey was conducted from August to September 2016.

The findings have been released in a series of reports, all of which are available on the NZCER website. The report ‘School resources, relations with other schools, and support’ is available at:

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