School resources insufficient, regardless of decile

Only eight per cent of primary and intermediate principals consider their school operational funding to be sufficient – regardless of decile, according to findings published by the New Zealand Council for Educational Research (NZCER).

As well as the shortfall in operational funding, principals’ responses indicated a growing shortfall in staffing since 2013 with 41 per cent reporting difficulties in finding suitable teachers. This is twice as many as reported in 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.

“Decile was associated with a school’s ability to find suitable staff,” says researcher Cathy Wylie. “Sixty-four percent of deciles one and two schools had difficulty compared with 31 per cent of deciles nine and ten.”

Lower decile schools were also more likely to be affected by student mobility and transience which impacted negatively 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.

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