Emergency Staffing Scheme

A national pool of experienced, trained and registered teachers who can work at senior management level is maintained. They can provide emergency short-term services where the board cannot fill a vacancy for a principal or senior leader for reasons outside the board's control.

The pool of 30 emergency teachers is available to state and state integrated schools.

The Emergency Staffing Scheme (ESS) is funded by the Ministry of Education and administered by the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA).

The conditions of the scheme

The placement is usually for a principal vacancy. Conditions are:

  • an acting appointment from within the school is impossible or impracticable 
  • the board has made every effort to find a relief principal to cover the vacancy, including using local and regional resources
  • support is required for 10 school weeks or fewer 
  • the emergency has arisen from a situation outside of the board's control.

Vacancies for a deputy principal or other senior leadership may be approved if the school can show that the role cannot be filled in any other way, and the situation meets all the other conditions above.

Placements beyond 10 weeks

Placements beyond 10 school weeks or extensions to existing placements beyond 10 school weeks must have prior approval from the Ministry and NZSTA. They will only be considered in exceptional circumstances.

How to access the scheme

Contact the NZSTA's head office in Wellington for the name of your nearest ESS regional coordinator.

Reach them through:

New Zealand School Trustees Association

Physical address: Level 8, 142 Lambton Quay, Wellington

Postal address: PO Box 5123, Wellington

Phone: 0800 782 435

Fax: +64 4 473 4706

Email: eradvice@nzsta.org.nz

The emergency teachers’ retainer

The NZSTA pays Emergency Staffing Scheme pool members a retainer, $6,000 per annum plus $500 per term for distance placements. Distance payments are when a school is 100 kilometres or more from the pool member’s normal address.

This retainer is paid through NZSTA to the pool member in 4 equal instalments by direct credit into the ESS pool member’s nominated bank account.

When you engage an emergency teacher, you pay their salary.

Paying the ESS pool teacher's salary

If the position to be covered by the ESS pool teacher

then the ESS pool teacher's salary is ...

is currently vacant paid from teachers' salaries. The board becomes the pool teacher's employer and the provisions of the relevant collective agreement apply.

ESS pool teachers are paid at the rate applicable to their qualifications and experience.

covers a teacher on long-term leave with pay (and sick leave)

met by the board from its operational funding.
You can apply for additional relief teacher funding in the usual way if your situation meets the conditions outlined in the additional relief teacher funding scheme.

Expenses you can claim

The expenses that an ESS pool member can claim from you, which you can have reimbursed by the Ministry, are as follows.

Travel

Entitlement

Pool teacher living at normal place of residence and travelling up to 60kms each way to placement 
  • Reimbursement of return travel (one trip per day) between their normal place of residence and the school. 
  • Travel is reimbursed at the ‘Transport Allowance for Relieving Employees’ rate in the relevant collective agreement.
Pool teacher living at their normal place of residence and travelling between 60 and 100kms each way to placement
  • Reimbursement of return travel (one trip per day) between their normal place of residence and the school, with a cap of $350 per week reimbursement to the board from the Ministry (the board will need to pay the excess). Or 
  • One return trip per term and $65 per day living away from home allowance. If you cannot find accommodation within the daily allowance, the Ministry will consider a case from the employing board for the reimbursement of additional costs. You must get prior approval from the Ministry. 
  • Travel is reimbursed at the ‘Transport Allowance for Relieving Employees’ rate in the relevant collective agreement.
Pool teacher living away from their normal place of residence where placement is at least 100kms away 
  • Return travel (one trip per appointment) between their normal place of residence and the school. 
  • Travel is reimbursed at the ‘Transport Allowance for Relieving Employees’ rate in the relevant collective agreement. 
  • A daily allowance of $65 per day (including weekends) to cover all living expenses.
  • If you cannot find accommodation within the daily allowance, the Ministry will consider a case from your board for reimbursing additional costs. You must get prior approval from the Ministry.

Expenses that you may not claim

An ESS pool teacher may wish to travel home in term time during the appointment. This travel will be at the expense of the employee. The daily allowance, however, will continue to be paid.

How the board pays expenses and claims reimbursement from the Ministry

The board employing the ESS pool teacher is responsible for paying travel expenses and the daily allowance. The Ministry will then reimburse these expenses.

How to claim reimbursement for qualifying ESS expenses

StageDescription
 1

The ESS pool teacher submits their claim to the board. The claim consists of:

  • receipts for travel and accommodation expenses 
  • the Emergency Staffing Scheme Claim Form.
 2 The board initially pays the qualifying expenses from its operational funding.
 3 The board seeks reimbursement from the Resourcing Division of the actual costs paid. We will only reimburse claims listed in the table above.

Download the Emergency Staffing Scheme Claim Form [DOC, 137 KB]

Final date for claims – 31 March

The final date for processing claims for any school year will be 31 March of the following year.

Claims received at the Resourcing Division after this date will not be actioned, nor will claims received prior to the cut-off date where appropriate and full documentation did not accompany the claim.

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