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Career Structure

The board will receive a letter from the Ministry of Education when its principal is eligible for one of the career structure payments.

Principal career structure payments are intended to encourage and recognise individual professional growth, leadership and contribution of a principal. 

In order for the principal to receive the payments, they must reach the service criteria (pdf) (of 3, 6, or 9 years) and have the board affirm they meet the criteria (pdf) (which includes requirements of leadership, personal and school wide professional development).

Primary career structure 

Payments require principals to present a portfolio of evidence, in addition to the board's affirmation. See primary career structure and career structure FAQs for more details on the process, criteria and portfolio. This primary career structure template (docx) can be used by boards to assess if the principal fulfils the criteria. 

Area school and secondary 

Career structure payments do not require a portfolio but the board must still affirm the criteria have been met. Refer to area school and secondary career structure for more information about the process. This area school and secondary career structure template (docx) can be used by boards to evaluate if the criteria is satisfied.

The career structure FAQs features questions often heard at our Governance Advisory and Support Centre.

Once the board is satisfied the criteria has been met, they should send a letter of affirmation to the Ministry to confirm this.

Our boards need more time to evaluate the principal's portfolio against the criteria for career structure allowances. Will the principal miss out on some of their payments while we do this or can this payment be backdated?

While payments will be backdated to the date when the principal became eligible, boards should be following the process in a timely manner to support the principal on their career path. Boards should allow enough time to evaluate the portfolio and criteria but this should be done in a realistic time frame. 

The board are not sure how to examine the career structure portfolio against the criteria, what are we looking for?

Documented evidence should clearly identify that the principal has met the criteria stated in part 4.4 of the collective agreements. For further information see career structure.

What kinds of evidence should the principal provide of their professional learning and development?

Evidence that may be included can be found here. This evidence should include dates and times where appropriate.

Our principal gave us a one page portfolio, is this ok?

It seems unlikely one page would be sufficient unless this is a summary sheet backed up by more substantial evidence. NZSTA's career structure evaluation and development plans: primaryarea & secondary, can be used as the template for the portfolio, with the principal attaching additional evidence to show fulfilment of these criteria.

The principal has submitted their portfolio but the board do not believe there is sufficient evidence of professional development to fulfil the criteria, what should we do?

You should go back to the principal and request they provide more evidence before affirming their career payment.

Our principal is asking the board to attest to a career progression to 'experienced principal' but has not demonstrated the professional learning and development aspect of the criteria. What should we do?

The board should not affirm that the principal meets the professional criteria if they have not undertaken professional development in all of the required areas. The board needs to provide support to help the principal attain this level in the future.

We are in the process of appointing a new principal who is currently receiving a career structure allowance payment. Will they continue to receive that payment?

The principal will continue to receive that payment, provided the board affirms as part of the appointment process, it is satisfied the principal meets the criteria for the payment. Therefore, you may request the principal present their evidence/portfolio to show fulfilment of the criteria upon confirmation of the appointment.

Our primary principal will be qualified as a 'leading principal', once that allowance becomes available, in November. Do we need to affirm her at the 'experienced principal' level now, and then follow the process again in November when the 'leading principal' allowance becomes available?

Yes, that is correct; the primary career structure allowances have a staged integration. The principal must first be affirmed against the 'experienced' criteria (available from February 10th), and then again against the 'leading' criteria, when that allowance becomes available on November 10th.

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