Sharing staff members across schools

Sharing a staff member across schools can help you access expertise that may have been otherwise out of reach.

Level of compliance Main audience Other


  • Principals and Tumuaki
  • Staff responsible for buying on behalf of their school
  • Boards

Why you might want a shared staff member

If your school would like to employ a specialist staff member but is unable to (for example, because of a lack of staffing entitlement or funding), you may not need to employ someone full time.

Specialist staff members include roles such as:

  • business manager
  • facilities manager
  • property manager.

Two or more schools in the same situation are able to employ a person to work for the group. You can all benefit from the expertise of the shared staff member.

Creating a shared position might also provide current staff with a new professional development pathway.

When you agree to hire a shared staff member, it is crucial that each school in the agreement understands:

  • the access that they will have to the shared staff member
  • how they will benefit from that access.

It is also important that each of you understands your financial obligation to support the position.

How to create to an across-schools job

To create an across-schools job, you will need to:

  1. communicate with other local schools
  2. develop a position description
  3. finalise the agreement
  4. complete the hiring process.

1. Communicate with other local schools

First, you will need to identify what there is a shared need for (if there is one).

Second, confirm each school’s capacity to take on the position.

For example:

  • school A wants to employ a facilities manager as a 0.5 FTE
  • school B can take on 0.25 FTE
  • school C may take the opportunity to access the remaining 0.25 FTE.

2. Develop a position description

The position description will define the key roles and responsibilities of the employee. It must state a manager for the shared employee.

All participating schools must agree to the final position description.

3. Finalise the agreement

The agreement made between all schools should state the:

  • school board responsible for employing the staff member
  • schools that are party to the agreement
  • start and end dates of the agreement and all review points
  • purpose and scope of the services agreed to for each school
  • allocation of the employee’s time across schools
  • roles and responsibilities of each school, including financial contribution
  • method for managing financial contributions
  • issue resolution process
  • process for managing a school wishing to conclude the agreement, including the required notice period.

This agreement might take the form of a memorandum of understanding (MoU). See our MoU template below.

4. Complete the hiring process

Follow your standard process for appointing a person to the role.

Key considerations

Sharing equipment

Schools in a shared agreement may want to share that staff member’s equipment. Purchasing new equipment might also be shared, with each school contributing to the cost up front. (See the case study above.)

If all schools contribute to the purchase of the equipment up front, there is no need for any school to pay for an external supplier to complete these services in the future.

Paying the shared staff member

Use the calculator below to establish what each participating school’s financial contribution towards employing the specialist staff member should be.

The calculator also estimates how much time each school should be allocated based on needs and financial contribution.

The group will need to consider how each school will pay their contribution to the employing board. (For example, payment might be made monthly, quarterly or annually.)

You will need to confirm how the employing board will invoice the other schools. Each party must have a record of the transaction.

Employment implications

We encourage you to investigate the employment implications of hiring a shared staff member.

You can contact New Zealand School Trustees Association's (NZSTA) employment advisors to learn more.

Advice and support – NZSTA(external link)

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