A real estate website is trying to dispel myths around school deciles.

Relab.co.nz has launched a service called SchoolScore, which rates schools based on a breakdown of factors relating to performance or what might be of interest to parents.

Searching for a property on the website shows the in-zone and private schools in the neighbourhood, the schools' score and how far away they are.

The site's operator Bill Ma said the idea was to stop parents and homebuyers being "misled by the decile system".


The site lists schools and includes their score, suburb, decile and whether they are private or public, single-sex or co-educational.

The score is based on the school's three-year average results of national standards, NCEA, university entrance and scholarship results.

Ma said scholarship performance is given the highest weighting in the rankings of high schools.

Schools in the top 10 per cent are given a score of 10, and those in the bottom 10 per cent are given a one.

Top scores are shown in green, average scores in yellow and lower scores in red.

The site also provides visitors with a breakdown of the ethnicity of students, and provides information about unique programmes the school operates, such as alternative pathways.

"We really want parents to look at the special features not just the score, because a lot of the time the school grades, especially for the primary schools, are not the only determining factor of how parents choose schools.

"They also want to look what a school actually does. For example Orakei School [has] a Montessori course. So although they have a score of seven, they are decile 4."

Schools and properties can be searched for through the site.

Ma said the website was designed to help make "baseline comparisons" of schools, but this is "not the only factor in selecting the right school for your family".

Orakei School principal Matthew Crumpton told the Herald he "really likes the idea behind" the site.

"For us in particular it allows parents who may have traditionally had reservations looking at lower decile schools because they don't have an understanding of the decile system to be informed.

"There's a perception that a low-decile school is a low-achieving school. We're not a low-achieving school but we have a lower decile."

Orakei School has a decile of four, but scores a seven in the Relab.co.nz rankings.

Orakei School principal Matthew Crumpton told the Herald he
Orakei School principal Matthew Crumpton told the Herald he "really likes the idea behind" the site. Photo / www.relab.co.nz

"It takes into account a few more things and it takes away from the misconceptions of the decile system."

Crumpton said parents have asked him what Orakei School's decile ranking means.

"Our job has been to educate parents around what deciles mean. Unfortunately the low decile does have a negative connotation."

Crumpton said using the website was a "really good start", and suited parents seeking a general overview of schools in an area.

"I'd encourage all parents to explore schools in greater details, but if you don't have the time to do all that and want to get a general idea then it's great."