Operations grant increases for 2017

Targeted operations grant increase

In 2017, some 2421 state, state integrated schools and kura will receive their share of an extra $12.3 million in targeted operations grant funding to support students at risk of educational underachievement.

This extra targeted operations grant funding represents a 1 per cent increase to the $1.35 billion in initial operations grants funding allocated to all schools for 2017. Overall, 99.4 percent of all state, state integrated schools and kura, with around 133,000 eligible students, will receive a share of the targeted operations grant increase.

The amount of targeted operations grant funding that each school receives is determined by the estimated number of students they have from a long term welfare dependent background.

Our research shows that students from these backgrounds are one of the biggest groups at risk of not being successful at school. A school receives additional targeted funding of $92 for each of these students, as opposed to $16 had there been an even distribution of a 1% increase in operations grant funding for all students in all schools.

In general, low decile schools and schools in regions, such as Te Tai Tokerau, Auckland and Waikato, where there are large numbers of students most at risk of educational underachievement, benefit most from the targeted operations grant funding increase.

The amount of targeted operations grant funding each school receives in 2017 depends on their estimated number of eligible students. There are children meeting the criteria for the targeted funding in almost all schools.

Some schools will receive a few hundred dollars; others are getting up to $57,000 as a result of the targeted funding approach. One school will receive around $109,000 reflecting the large number of students it has from the target group. All but 15 of our smallest schools will receive some additional targeted operations grant funding.

The way the targeted operations grant has been distributed shows that there are students at risk of educational under-achievement in almost all schools.

The increase is designed to better target funding across schools to enable them to address the barriers faced by children most at risk of educational under-achievement.

Operations grant funding

In addition to the 2017 targeted operations grant increase, all state, state integrated schools and kura have been told about their initial allocation of the $1.35 billion in operations grants funding for 2017. This allocation is initial only. It will not be finalised until schools file their March 2017 roll returns with us.

Operational funding is provided directly to boards of trustees of state and state integrated schools to cover (schools’) operating costs and can be used at the board’s discretion.

This does not include funding for major property costs, school transport, and the salaries of teachers employed as part of the school's staffing entitlement, as these resources are provided separately.

The amount paid depends on the school's roll, the year levels of the students, the decile, isolation index and the property profile.

A school’s operations grant can consist of up to 23 components. Not all schools receive all of these components. But changes in any of them can move a school’s operations grant funding up or down. For example, a change in the number of students at a school will have an impact on the funding. There is a list of all 23 here.

Questions and answers

Does the amount they receive in operational grant funding affect how much they receive in targeted funding?

No. The two are separate. The targeted funding is purely based on information about students who are from families on long term welfare.

How has the targeted operations grant funding been determined?

The targeted funding is delivered to schools depending on the estimated number of students they have, aged 5 to 18, whose parents have been on benefits for 75% of the first five years of the student’s life, or 75% of the most recent five years.

Will schools be told which students are receiving the targeted operations grant increase?

Schools are only being advised of the estimated number of students that meet the funding criteria. They will not be told the names of these students, to maintain their privacy.

Schools and teachers often know which of their students are most at-risk of educational underachievement, and know which students are behind where they should be in their learning.

When will schools receive their targeted operations grant increase in funding?

Schools will receive their targeted funding increase as part of their operational grant funding at the start of Term 1 in 2017.

Is the targeted funding part of the Funding Review?

The targeted funding is not part of the Funding Review. But it does offer a clear example of how funding could be changed to have a focus on getting the money to those students who need the most support.

The fact that the operational grant is so complex, with 23 different components also illustrates the need to review whether there is a better way to determine and deliver funding to schools that is simpler and more effective.

There are children meeting the criteria for the targeted funding in almost all schools.

Why has the funding amount for some schools not been provided?

The information has been removed for a few schools where five or fewer students are from benefit-dependent households, or where all students are in receipt of the targeted funding increase.

This suppression rule is consistent with international standards to ensure the protection of privacy.

Does the Ministry of Education know the names of the students who are eligible for the targeted funding increase?

No, the Ministry doesn’t have a list of these children. A data-match was done by MSD, and individual details haven’t been shared.

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