Emergency Staffing Scheme (ESS)

Hōtaka Kimi Kaimahi Ohorere


NZSTA, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, administers the Emergency Staffing Scheme (ESS), which provides last resort help for school boards of state and state integrated schools who are unable to attract Principals.

To qualify for an ESS pool member, a board must be able to demonstrate that:

  • An "acting up" appointment is not possible or practicable within the school
  • Advertising locally for a relief principal has been unsuccessful 
  • All reasonable efforts are being/have been made to use normal avenues for appointing a permanent principal where applicable 
  • The need is otherwise consistent with emergency staffing 
  • The need is temporary (not more than 10 weeks) 
  • The need is to provide for last resort coverage for a situation the board cannot control, e.g.  the principal/deputy principal has another position 
  • The request is not to provide for day-to-day casual relief.

Boards who need ESS assistance should contact the National ESS Coordinator (not the Ministry of Education) who will coordinate any placements.

The ESS pool member would be available within 5 days, but may under some circumstances be available within 24 hours notice.

ESS pool members are experienced principals who can provide leadership to a range of different schools including primary, area and secondary schools for a period of one term.

ESS pool members are not "change agents", nor are they available to resolve possible conflicts between the community and the board.  They are only available to fill last resort vacancies, for a maximum of one term.

Sample letter of appointment

Follow the link to a copy of the sample letter of appointment

If you require further assistance, please contact the National ESS Coordinator - Lucienne Shelley on 03 386 3400.

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