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Details of school funding review revealed

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 4/10/2016

More than 1300 schools will lose money when a new funding scheme to help at-risk students starts next year, but at least 800 will get more.

The Labour Party has released the Ministry of Education figures and says the scheme will "undoubtedly" mean more pressure on parents to make up shortfalls.

"The new funding system is just an elaborate way to dress up a funding cut," said education spokesman Chris Hipkins.

The government denies funding is being cut.

Under the new scheme, schools will get $92 per year for each student from a long-term, welfare-dependent background.

About 133,000 students are considered to be in the at-risk category and Education Minister Hekia Parata says they're the ones who need the most help.

The figures show 1376 schools will lose money, 816 will be given more and information about another 242 is suppressed for privacy reasons because they have fewer than five at-risk students.

Examples include Hamilton's Fairchild Primary School, which will receive an extra $19,000 because 70 per cent of its roll are at-risk students.

Auckland Grammar will lose money but headmaster Tim O'Connor told the New Zealand Herald he favoured the new scheme.

The chairman of the Secondary Principals Council, Allan Vester, says the amounts involved are a very small percentage of total school funding.

"All schools believe they have unmet needs and, not surprisingly, some were unhappy with the at-risk funding change."

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