Principal Recruitment Allowance

The Principal Recruitment Allowance is available for our most high need state and state integrated schools and kura to attract highly effective principals.

Boards with significant challenges may submit an expression of interest to the Ministry of Education to be considered for eligibility to offer this allowance as part of the recruitment process. The purpose of the allowance is to help attract a highly effective principal to a principal vacancy.

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.   

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

Key features of the allowance

Applicants applying for a principal vacancy advertised with the allowance should be aware of the following:

  • the fixed term allowance attaches to a permanent principal position
  • both the school and the applicant must meet separate eligibility criteria for the allowance to be payable
  • the initial period of the allowance is for a fixed term of 3 years; a board may seek approval to renew the allowance for a further period of up to 2 years (the allowance cannot be renewed more than 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 when the fixed period of the allowance ends, regardless of whether the principal ceases to be employed as a principal at the school; or when the principal ceases to be employed as a principal at the school.

Applying for the Principal Recruitment Allowance

Download the Principal Recruitment Allowance Guide for schools and kura [PDF, 163 KB] which has school and principal eligibility criteria, including assessment information and expectations on those receiving the allowance.

The school board can fill out the Principal Recruitment Allowance Expression of Interest form [PDF, 116 KB] and send to the IES team at

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