Principals’ salary grades

This page shows how the principals’ salary grades are determined using the principal grading roll.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and tumuaki
  • Administrators

 Boards must adhere to the principal’s salary grades set by the Ministry.

How the principal's salary grade is determined

  • The principal grading roll determines a principal’s salary grade. ‘Principal grading roll’ means provisional resourcing roll (including the new entrant adjustment), and
  • a weighting for Ongoing Resourcing Scheme (ORS) students.

The principal’s grading is then recalculated using the March actual roll as part of the confirmed entitlement staffing process.

How students are counted

For the provisional grading ORS students are counted as at 1 July in the previous year. Students classified as ‘very high’ under ORS are counted as 6 students instead of one; students classified as ‘high’ or ‘extension’ under ORS are counted as 3 students instead of one. When the grading is recalculated following the March actual roll, ORS students from 1 March in the current year are counted.

In a small number of special residential and other schools, each student is counted as one, 3, or 6 for the purposes of determining the principal grading roll.

The principal’s grading in schools with notional rolls is determined by that notional roll and as specified in the Education (School Staffing) Order in Council.

Excluded students

In all cases, the principal grading roll excludes international fee-paying students and assisted students whose fees are paid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Principal grading roll


1–100 U1 & U2
101–150 U3
151–300 U4
301–500 U5
501–675 U6
676–850 U7
851–1025 U8
1026–1200 U9
1201–1400 U10
1401–1600 U11
1601–1800 U12
1801–2000 U13
2001–2200 U14
2201–2400 U15
2401+ U16

Recalculation of a principal's salary grade

After the principal grading is recalculated using the 1 March roll, the principal's grading is set for the year at that level. Refer to the appropriate collective agreement for more information.

Recalculating the principal grading roll

Each year, using the 1 March actual roll, the principal grading roll is recalculated to determine whether the principal’s grading has changed.

Here’s how.

1. The Ministry calculates the principal grading roll using the 1 March actual roll. In primary and composite schools, the principal grading roll is the greater of either:

  • the provisional resourcing roll 
  • or the March actual roll.

In either case, that includes an adjustment for new entrants.

2. Using this roll, the principal grading for the school or kura is established.

3. The result is compared with the principal’s provisional grading. 

4. The greater of this result or the principal's provisional grading becomes the principal's current grading for the year. Any grading increase is backdated to the beginning of the school year.

Where to find a principals’ salary grade

In Pourato you can view the principal’s grading roll, combining the roll and ORS weighting. The Principal Grade (UGrade) can be viewed in the header of the staffing entitlement information.

Refer to Finding information in Pourato(external link) for further guidance.

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