Principal recruitment allowance

Any board may apply for the principal recruitment allowance. Schools and principals must each meet a range of separate eligibility criteria outlined in the guide which can be downloaded from this page.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Boards
  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Proprietors 
  • NANP
  • ERO


Boards with significant challenges may apply for approval to offer the principal recruitment allowance to attract a highly effective tumuaki | principal to a permanent principal vacancy.

If approved by the Secretary for Education, the school boad can offer an eligible principal an allowance of $50,000 per annum for a fixed period of 3 years.

The allowance is on top of other remuneration offered by the employing board. The recipient is expected to provide the leadership needed to improve a school’s student achievement.

Any school board may apply, not just those that belong to a Community of Learning | Kāhui Ako.  The school and principal must each meet a range of separate eligibility criteria.

How to apply

The principal recruitment allowance guide sets out the eligibility criteria and includes assessment intimation. It also sets out the expectations of principals who receive the allowance.

To be considered for eligibility, the school board must fill out the expression of interest form and email it to

Information for job applicants

If you are a principal and you are applying for a principal vacancy that has been advertised with the allowance, be aware that:

  • the fixed-term allowance attaches to a permanent principal position
  • both the school and you the applicant must meet separate eligibility criteria for the allowance to be payable
  • the initial period of the allowance is for a fixed 3-year term. A board may seek approval to renew the allowance for an additional period of up to 2 years (the allowance can be renewed twice)
  • approval for payment (or renewal) of the allowance is discretionary and may be subject to conditions imposed by the Secretary for Education
  • consideration will be given to each expression of interest on its merits
  • the allowance is on top of other remuneration offered by the employing board
  • the allowance will end if you cease to be employed as a principal at the school.

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