Review of Deciles - General Information

General information about reviews of school deciles.

All school deciles are automatically reviewed following the New Zealand Census every five years.
Each year schools can seek a review if they believe that their roll profile has changed since the last national review. The annual review period is advertised in the Education Gazette at the end of July / beginning of August, with the deadline for review applications typically being the beginning of October.
Deciles are calculated on the basis of student addresses supplied to the Ministry of Education; information obtained from the 2006 Census data.

Valid reasons for a review of a school's decile

A review of your school's decile will be considered if you are able to show evidence of a change in the character of the areas from which your school draws students since the 2006 Census.
This would typically occur if: 

  • Significant (in student numbers) parts of the school's catchment have lowered in socio-economic status since the 2006 Census (evidence required). 
  • Proportionately more students come from the lower socio-economic areas of the school's catchment than they did during 2007 (evidence required and all students' current addresses to be supplied).

Some examples of these circumstances are:

  • your community is very small and the arrival or departure of families in the last 18 months has changed the character of the area;
  • there has been a change in the character of housing development in your area;
  • the recent failure of a major employer has resulted in increased unemployment in your community.

In order to show that your school community has changed, you will need to be as specific as possible. You will need to provide details on how the changes have affected incomes, the proportion in low skilled occupations, educational qualifications, household crowding and the proportion receiving benefits in your community. Please quantify this information wherever possible. Note that the change must be specific and dramatic. Apart from small schools, few schools will have experienced the level of change necessary to produce a change in decile.

Other points to note

No subjectivity is involved in interpreting the information that is used to calculate the decile. Therefore, if you want the Ministry to review your school's decile you will need to supply specific information which is more up to date than the 2006 Census information. In the past, boards and principals seeking a review have provided information on such things as rurality, fluid rolls, the incidence of single parent families or students with special needs. While such matters certainly impose organisational problems on a school, they are not factors that are used to determine the decile.

The decile does not indicate the "average" socio-economic status of families that contribute to the school roll, but focuses on five specific factors that have been shown to affect academic achievement. Any applications for a review will need to explain how a change in circumstances in your schools' catchment area, such as a local downturn, have affected some or all of the factors. Assumptions should not be made that schools in the same general area will receive the same decile. Your school's decile is not based on the character of the general area in which your school is situated, but on the small Census areas (meshblocks) where your students live.

Where to find a school's decile

The downloadable spreadsheet below contains a list of state and state integrated schools with both their 2007 and 2008 Deciles (and TFEA steps).
A list of schools with their current deciles as well as their contact details is available on the Directory of Educational Institutions (web address:

Content last updated: 2 July 2008