Being principal of more than one school
Two or more boards of trustees may now appoint one person to be the principal of 2 or more schools administered by the boards, under section 75A of the Education Act 1989.
The Education Act 1989 has been amended by the Education Legislation Act 2016 that came into force on 29 October 2016.
Previously, one principal was able to manage more than one school but only when the schools had a combined board of trustees.
Impact of the legislation
The new legislation still allows schools to have a combined board, but also allows one principal to manage more than one school where each school has its own board.
Why the change?
The rationale for change is lifting student achievement. The key factors that have an impact on this are high quality teaching and effective leadership. School principals are seen as one of the key drivers of improvement in teaching in schools through their professional leadership and the culture they inspire in a school.
For many small or rural schools and kura it is often difficult to recruit and retain a high-quality principal.
Allowing one principal to manage more than one school is an option that boards can consider, to either help recruit a principal or provide career development to retain a principal.
Considerations for boards of trustees
When considering whether or not having one principal managing more than one school is the best option, boards are encouraged to think about what they are trying to achieve and how that relates to the purpose of the legislation – lifting student achievement.
Consultation with the boards’ school communities should be an important step in any process when considering a move such as this. For example, how will the boards manage the expectations of the different communities?
There are also significant employment and employer issues that must be considered if there is to be more than one board involved.
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