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Principal Career Structure Primary

What do we need to know about principal's portfolios?

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

In order for principals to "receive" their annual career allowance the board must affirm that the principal meets the criteria (pdf) (detailed in the appendix).

The Primary Principals' Collective Agreement also requires that principals will assemble and present to the board a "portfolio of evidence" relevant to the allowance criteria.

If a principal already in receipt of an allowance is appointed to a new school, that principal will continue to receive that allowance, provided the board affirms, as part of its appointment process, it is satisfied that the principal meets the criteria.

These are assessed at three stages

Developing Principal (Acquiring/Acquired): A minimum of 3 years continuous service as a primary or area school principal

Experienced Principal  (Applying):  A minimum of 6 years continuous service as a primary or area school principal and meets requirements of "Developing Principal"

Leading Principal  (Sharing):  A minimum of 9 years continuous service as a primary or area school principal and meets requirements of "Developing" and "Experienced Principal"

How do we evaluate the portfolio?

Portfolio structure

Principals can use NZSTA's career structure evaluation and development plan (docx) as a framework for their portfolio of evidence. The supporting evidence should be attached.  Boards can then use this as a checklist to ensure the criteria are met.

The above template is included as part C of NZSTA's performance agreement template.  Boards can either affirm the principal's learning and development during their normal annual performance review process or in advance of it, depending on the date the principal becomes eligible.

Examples of supporting evidence for the portfolio

Go to the Ministry of Education's webpage for more examples of supporting evidence.

Have more questions?

Please consult the FAQs on principal career structure. These are based on questions Regional Advisers Employment (HR) have been receiving. If you can't find the answer there, the Employment Adviser can be contacted on 0800 782 435 (option 2) or via email

For further information on criteria see Appendix (pdf).

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