Principals across more than one school

The underpinning question when considering having a principal across more than one school is: 

How will this arrangement enhance student achievement? 

If you determine that student achievement will be enhanced, there are a number of technical and human resourcing questions that the board will need to be aware of before deciding to go ahead with employing a part-time principal who is also employed to work part-time at one or more different schools. 

FAQs where more than one employer involved

Recruitment and induction

When would an arrangement like this be suitable?

Where the relevant Boards consider that such an arrangement will enhance student achievement.  Entering into an arrangement such as this will trigger a number of technical and human resourcing issues.  Boards should, therefore, seek advice and engage in adequate consultation with all relevant parties at all stages.  

Who would be the employer? 

Where two or more part-time roles are involved, there are multiple employers (unless a secondment is involved). An arrangement involving two or more employers would most likely be entered into following local discussions based on the particular needs of the schools. 

Are there any preconditions to applying for appointment (such as minimum qualifications and/or experience)?  

This would be determined on a case-by-case basis. For example, each Board would need to be confident that the principal is able to meet their (likely different) needsie a leader with a variety of skills and strengths. 

Can someone be a principal of schools in different sectors? If so, which collective agreement applies? 

Yes. However, it is not an arrangement that is recommended due to the significantly increased complexity. If it were to occur, we recommend that Boards contact NZSTA for advice; eg on which collective agreement terms and conditions apply in the particular circumstances. 

Is there a maximum distance the schools can be apart? 

There is no maximum distance, however we recommend that the schools are in close enough proximity to enable the principal to move freely between them with the minimum amount of time spent travelling. 

Where will the principal be “based” if the arrangement is part-time across more than one school? 

This is something that would need to be negotiated between the principal and employing Boards.  

Will the arrangement affect the principal’s position on a Board of Trustees? 

No, it won’t. The principal remains a trustee and the chief executive of the school, however the principal will need to be mindful of the fact that he or she will have responsibilities for each of his or her employing Boards. The Boards will need to discuss with both the principal and the other employing Boards, how any conflict(s)/potential conflicts of interest - that may arise due to having a role on multiple Boards - will be handled (and by whom). 

Principal's entitlements

How will this arrangement affect a principal’s responsibilities to a school community? 

The principal will still have the same responsibilities but to the communities of each school he or she is employed by; and will need to be mindful of any/ potential conflict(s) of interest. 

Is the expectation that any appointment(s) will be on a permanent basis? 

These appointments will most likely have to be made on a permanent basis. The only reason they might not be is if there is a genuine reason based on reasonable grounds for the appointment to be on a fixed- term basis. 

How will positions be advertised and what is the process for appointment? 

Positions would be advertised as normal to ensure that the requirements of the relevant collective agreement and State Sector Act 1988 are met. 

Do the employing boards need to seek the Secretary for Education’s concurrence to the arrangement? If so, what is concurrence required for? 

Concurrence is required if any of the employment arrangements are outside of the relevant collective agreement. Concurrence in these circumstances is required prior to any employment agreement being entered into. 

What are the minimum/maximum hours of work per week? 

The principal’s hours of work would be as per the arrangement agreed to with his or her employing boards and in accordance with the Secretary for Education’s concurrence where applicable The principal would have to be employed part-time by each employing board as there would be no expectation that the principal would work the equivalent of more than one full-time position. 

How would a principal’s employment by more than one Board affect the principal’s responsibilities under the Health and Safety at Work Act?

It wouldn’t change the nature of a principal’s responsibilities but it would mean that those same responsibilities would apply across more than one school.  

Does the principal receive any extra remuneration? 

Potentially, however this will be dependent on the scope of the roles and whether the requirements of the roles justify additional remuneration.   The Secretary for Education’s concurrence will be required before any additional remuneration can be agreed or paid. 

Which U grade will apply to a principal of two or more schools? 

The principal’s salary will be based on the combined roll of all the schools they are principal of. 

Will allowances be pro-rated? 

This will need to be assessed in each set of circumstances. Allowances are specific to individual schools or to a role. If criteria are not met at each of the schools/roles, allowances may be paid at pro-rated amount.  

Are there any tax implications arising out of this arrangement? 

The extent of liability for tax will depend on the taxpayer’s individual circumstances. We therefore recommend that a principal is advised to seek independent advice.  

Will the principal be paid for travel (travelling between schools)? 

A principal is unlikely to be reimbursed for the costs associated with travelling to different workplaces in the absence of agreement between the principal and one or more of his/her employer(s) to the contrary.  

Can a principal receive the Principal Recruitment Allowance if appointed as principal at more than one school? 

This is an issue which will need to be addressed on a case by case basis. If the principal is already receiving the principal recruitment allowance, this is something that will need to be addressed before agreement to/entering into an arrangement such as this. 

Performance management

Who sets the principal’s performance objectives?  

Each employer is required to set performance objectives.  

Who is responsible for monitoring the principal’s performance, meeting with the principal about performance and completing the performance appraisals? 

Each employer will likely have separate processes which may mean two (or more) separate appraisals.

How would the principal’s Professional Learning and Development (PLD) be co-ordinated? 

We would expect that this is a conversation between the principal and employers to coordinate the right PLD for both the principal and the employing boards. Agreement needs to be reached between the principal and the boards before a plan can be set in place. 

Which school is responsible for paying for the principal’s PLD? 

That would depend on what is agreed between the boards and what PLD related to which school. 

What happens if there’s an employment dispute in one school involving the principalie the principal wishes to make a complaint or is being complained about? 

Complaints would be dealt with in the normal way, following the board’s/boards’ complaints policy/policies. The extent to which information is able to be shared between schools is an issue that ought to be considered and addressed by the Boards at the time the principal is engaged; with the agreed arrangements documented. 

People management

What private information can be shared between schools or boards? 

It may be appropriate that information relating to the principal’s employment could be shared between Boards but it should not be done without the principal’s express (and documented) consent. We recommend that what information could be shared and when is covered in the letter(s) of appointment. 

How should confidential/private information relating to others be handled? 

Where a principal is operating across more than one school and more than one board, the principal needs to be very careful with sensitive/confidential information received; and understand the obligations of confidentiality for matters raised in different schools and/ or at different board meetings. The Board should advise the principal that if in doubt or the principal thinks there may be a conflict of interest, then the principal must raise the matter with the relevant board/s. 

How is the principal’s leave managed and recorded? 

The letter(s) of appointment should set this out.   

How is the principal’s service and leave calculated? 

Service and leave calculations should not be impacted by a multiple part-time arrangement provided the individual schools keep up to date leave records. This is information that the schools may wish to discuss and agree is shared (with the principal’s express and documented agreement). 

Who is responsible for the principal’s long service leave entitlement? 

The employers are responsible for ensuring the principal receives any long service leave entitlements. How this is effected will need to be discussed and agreed between the employing Boards and the principal. It is recommended that Boards contact NZSTA for advice. 

Would this arrangement affect a principal’s ability to take any type of leave: parental, study, sabbatical; refreshment? 

It shouldn’t, however the principal would need to ensure that all employers were included in discussions relating to these types of leave.  

How would competing priorities brought about by external influences be addressedeg if a crisis arises in one school which requires the principal to work more than the hours agreed; or there are crises in more than one school at the same time? 

This is something that should be discussed and managed between the principal and the relevant employing boards. If a crisis does arise, the simple answer is that the principal should manage it in the way he or she would usually manage any such situation, but the principal would need to have clear lines of communication with the employing boards.  

What happens if a conflict of interest arises? 

Principals need to be advised that any actual or perceived conflict of interest should be declared, in the first instance, to the relevant board(s). 

Concluding the employment relationship

How does the arrangement end?  

Because this is most likely a permanent part-time role, it would normally end by way of resignation or by mutual consent with the appropriate amount of notice.  If it is a fixed-term arrangement, it will end at the expiry of the agreement.

What if the principal wishes to end his or her part-time role

The principal is able to resign with the appropriate notice period. 

What if one of the employing schools wants to end a part-time role? 

Any decision to do so should only take effect following a robusttransparent and fair process; and for a lawful reason. 

What happens if one of a principal’s part-time roles is terminated in one of the schools? 

Then that position would cease to exist. This may affect whether the principal wishes to continue as a part-time principal in the other school(s). 

What happens if there is a restructure/closure/merger? 

Then this would follow the normal process set out in the relevant collective agreement. As above, should one role cease, it may affect whether the principal wishes to continue as a part-time principal in the other school(s). 

Communities of Learning | Kāhui Ako

Can the principal be employed as a part-time principal in more than one school and Community of Learning lead at the same time? 

Technically the answer is yes, however the principal and employing boards would need to carefully consider whether the consequent workload and the demands on the principal’s time would be prohibitive. 

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