Skip to content.
Updated at 6:04 am on 19 June 2012
Principals of two Northland schools say removing decile rankings will not address the real issue of Pakeha parents stereotyping Maori pupils.
Ministry of Education figures show the number of Pakeha children in deciles 1, 2 and 3 schools has nearly halved in the past 12 years.
The Principals' Federation wants the ranking system changed because it believes Pakeha parents are avoiding low decile schools, resulting in a divided society.
The head of decile 1 Kaikohe Intermediate says some Pakeha parents have inaccurate perceptions about the education standards at low decile schools.
Phil Gordon says eliminating deciles will not be enough to change those perceptions, as parents will still know which schools have lots of Maori pupils.
He warns if Pakeha children are sheltered from Maori children at school it could result in the two groups not mixing well in society.
The principal of another decile 1 school in the region says changing the ranking system will not stop Pakeha parents avoiding schools with lots of Maori pupils.
Kaikohe East School head Chicky Rudkin says Pakeha parents are more put off by the fact the school's role is made up of 98% Maori children than by its low decile.
She says many of those parents have incorrect negative perceptions about Maori due to things like the high number of Maori in jail or unemployed.
Ms Rudkin says chaning the system would not make a difference to the 'white flight' because parents would still be able to tell if a school had lots of Maori pupils.
But Ms Rudkin says it doesn't worry her if Pakeha pupils bypass her school, as they are the ones missing out on the great things happening there.
She says Kaikohe East School aims to make Maori children feel proud about their culture and has many Maori protocols in place.
Ms Rudkin says she wouldn't want a new school rating system that forced parents to send their children to schools which they didn't want them to attend.
Copyright © 2012, Radio New Zealand
Email the team email@example.com
Audio is categorised based on the frequency of the programme it was heard in. Click on the headings below to access the programmes. For the most recently published audio, go to the latest audio page.
Streams are in Windows Media format. Mac and Linux users may need to install additional software. Get help with audio
A selection of music interviews, reviews, videos, concerts, sessions, and performances.
Downloads and podcasts are available for selected programmes. Our podcast page has a complete list of feeds.
Help on using online audio: formats, software, podcasts, downloading, and troubleshooting.