Our teachers and principal are paid for directly by the Ministry of Education. This funding is calculated on the number of students we have. It is important that we keep our roll at a consistent number to maintain the same level of funding and number of teachers.
This is the main bucket of funding that pays for what we need to run our school like office staff, power, rates, audit fees, rubbish collection, repairs and maintenance and art supplies.
The operating grant is linked to two factors – our roll and our school decile.
The more students we have, the more funding we receive. If our roll increases or decreases during the year, the Ministry adjusts our funding up or down accordingly.
One of our biggest challenges is maintaining a consistent roll. We are faced with rising house prices in Miramar so it has become more difficult for families with school-age children to buy in our school zone. We continue to focus on being the school of choice in the Motu-Kairangi area.
The school decile is a crude measure of the socio-economic area surrounding the school. It is not a measure of the teaching outcomes of the school.
The lower the decile, the more funding a school receives to meet the teaching needs. MNS is a decile 7 school, which means we get a lesser amount of funding than 70% of the schools in the country, but slightly more than 20% of the schools, including some of our surrounding schools like Worser Bay which is decile ten.
The government is proposing to remove the idea of deciles as a mechanism. This may be some time away, so for the foreseeable future, we will continue to receive money based on our school decile.
Property funding is allocated by the Ministry over five and ten-year periods. The needs of our school are assessed against the needs of all other schools and prioritised. This includes things like classroom upgrades, building maintenance and repairs, heating, roof repairs, and our pool.
We have been fortunate to receive significant amounts of money for our driveway and classroom upgrades.
The funding from the Ministry isn’t enough to cover everything that we want to do at our school. We rely on other sources of funding to provide the things that children, parents, teachers and the community care about.
We want to provide our children with a rich environment for learning, and our teachers with the tools to do this.
This includes prioritising spending on things like technology, teacher aides, arts and crafts, sports equipment, library resources, production and events and professional development for our teachers. We also need to manage our funding to strike the right balance between things the school needs now against the needs of the future.
Other funding includes parent donations, grants and home and school fundraising.
These are the donations we seek from each family at the beginning of every year. We budget on every family paying their fair share. The board asks for these at an amount that we think reflects the community we live in, and allows for the opportunities that MNS provides to your children.
The school donation can be paid in part payment or installments, on kindo, or direct into the school account. You can claim one-third of your school donation back from the Inland Revenue.
We also seek a small pool fee every year. We are very lucky to have our school pool but the heating and maintenance costs are significant. While our lease with Aquazone helps pay for some of these costs, we do rely on the pool donation to keep our pool working.
We rely on a large amount of fundraising to help cover the gap between what it costs to run our school and what we receive from the Ministry.
Most of our fundraising is organised by our incredible Home and School Committee. We are very grateful to this group of people as they devote a lot of their time and energy to support our school. We are also grateful to our parents, community, and staff who get behind all our fundraising events to make them successful.
As well as Home and School fundraising, we have school fundraising events like pizza days and the annual “athon”.
Without this fundraising, the school would have to make hard prioritisation decisions between important things like teacher aides, technology, and all the other things we know parents love about MNS.
We can apply for grants from various organisations. These are often required to be applied to specific things like iPads, playground equipment, or swimming lessons. We rely on the time of staff and parents to write detailed grant applications.
The school has to meet all the costs of running the school through a mix of Ministry funding, grants, parent donations and fundraising.
We are fully reliant on donations from our generous parents and community to give our children the wonderful education and experiences they have at Miramar North School.
We, as the Board of Trustees, try our best to strike the right balance of priorities with our funding to deliver the best opportunities and outcomes for our children and our staff.
As a board we welcome parents wanting to understand more about this and are always available to talk.