Another 47,000 students will be able to access additional support through the school donations scheme, and a further 3,000 kids will be able to get free and healthy school lunches as a result of the Equity Index, the government announced last week.
That’s on top of nearly 90% of schools that will also see a bump in funding when schools start receiving equity funding based on the Equity Index rather than the old decile system.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins said: “Alongside the resulting changes to the school donations scheme and healthy school lunches, up to $90 million in additional funding and support is going directly to schools and kura next year.
What the Equity Index does is give us a much better picture based on much better data of which students need extra resources, and because of that we’re able to invest more in the right places.
“Schools and kura in Te Tai Tokerau have the biggest average increase of around $223.11 per pupil. At the other end schools and kura in Auckland will receive an average increase of $6.25 extra per pupil, an increase that reflects the incredible diversity in the city.
“Schools in South Auckland for example will receive on average $525.47 per pupil after the changes, representing an average increase of $70.47. This compares to schools in the north of Auckland who’ll receive on average $60.77 per pupil for an average increase of $16.60,” Chris Hipkins said.
“We are also increasing the amount of money the Government contributes through the school donations policy, as well as expanding the number of schools that are eligible,” Associate Education Minister Jan Tinetti said.
“School donations will increase from $150 to $154.13 per student in 2023. Combined with the expansion in eligibility, this will result in up to in $9.3 million in extra funding provided directly to schools next year. If those schools and kura join the scheme the families and whānau of around 47,000 young people at 155 schools will no longer be asked for donations.
“The changes will also see a further 24 schools and kura invited to join the Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme. Meaning approximately 3,000 additional children will be eligible to receive free, healthy lunches at school.
“The aims of the Equity Index and the extension of support through these two programmes are further evidence that this Government is putting the wellbeing of children and families at the heart of our work, and are helping to make everyday life more affordable for parents,” Jan Tinetti said.
Which schools are eligible?
Schools and kura with an EQI number of 432 and above will be eligible to join the School Donations Scheme. 155 schools and kura with approx. 46,986 ākonga are newly eligible to join the scheme.
Previously eligible schools with an EQI number below 432 will retain their eligibility so long as they continue to opt-in.
24 additional schools with approx. 3,176 ākonga will be invited to join Ka Ora, Ka Ako Healthy School Lunches programme.
The Government says it increased equity funding by $75 million a year through the Budget 2022.
The analysis that is referenced in this PR excludes schools and kura with a notional Equity Index number. These include Teen Parent Units, Activity centres, and some special schools as including them would overestimate the impacts for most schools and kura.
*These counts include four schools who are newly eligible for both schemes.
Community-led resources to keep young people out of the youth justice system
Other recent announcements have included an injection of support from the government into a number of community-led programmes in partnership with police agencies.
Around 1100 more participants will be able to access Youth Guarantee. The gov has increased the age cap to 24 years and reduced entry-level credit expectations. It has also increased wellbeing and transport subsidy assistance.
The Ākonga Fund will be able to help an additional 2,750 learners age 12+. Positive outcomes have been recorded for 52% of learners exiting the initiative.
He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) will also be extended, benefitting up to 1,400 more rangatahi who need support into education, training, and employment. Other Oranga Tamariki and Police enabled initiatives have also been given additional support, including Functional Family Therapy, Oranga Rangatahi Youth Inclusion Programmes and the Intensive Mentoring.