Decile ratings will no longer be included on Education Review Office school reports, the office announced today.
Dr Graham Stoop, chief review officer for the Education Review Office, said the decision was made due to public confusion about the purpose of the decile rating.
"The decile rating system is a mechanism used by the Ministry of Education to make funding available to schools. Too often it is seen as a rating of the quality of the education which a school provides and this is simply not correct," Dr Stoop said.
"By removing the decile rating from ERO's reports we hope to help remove this element of confusion and correct this misconception."
Dr Stoop said the ERO reports are designed to give parents an assessment of the quality of education provided by schools, and the decile rating "has no part to play in our reports".
ERO reports published from the beginning of Term 4 onwards will not have decile ratings included.
New Zealand Education Institute president Ian Leckie said he was surprised the ERO had decided that decile ratings did not provide parents with meaningful information.
He said parents must be provided with clear information about the social and economic contexts in which schools operate so they can make a fair assessment of the effectiveness of schools.
"Decile ratings are clearly crude tools, but if ERO is to remove these ratings, it should still give parents information about the socio-economic context in which a school operates," he said.
"Poverty, ill-health and poor housing have significant impacts on whether children are ready and able to learn.
"ERO cannot pretend these out-of-school factors do not affect student achievement and therefore whether a school is perceived as effective or not."
Mr Leckie said neither the ERO nor parents should be kept ignorant of the real-world challenges faced by schools.
Earlier this month, Education Minister Hekia Parata announced that the Ministry of Education would publish achievement data on the ministry's website.
The site will not rank schools in league-table fashion but will show achievement data in regions and how individual schools are performing against national standards.