In 2011, the Ministry of Education signed Collective Agreements for Secondary and Area School Principals with their representative unions: Secondary Principals Association of New Zealand, New Zealand Educational Institute and the Post-Primary Teachers’ Association. The Agreements provide for a new career structure for principals intended to support growth of professional leadership and build capacity across the school sector. The new career structure explicitly encourages and recognises the professional growth, leadership and contribution of principals.

It was recognised that some guidance material would be useful to principals and boards in meeting the requirements under s4.1.2 (b) of the Collective Agreements to have a professional learning and development plan in place as part of the performance management process. S4.4 of the Agreements sets out the new career structure for principals and outlines the level of learning and development that should be expected at each level of experience.

The resource has been developed by the Ministry of Education in discussion with the PPTA (NZSPC), SPANZ, NZSTA, Ngā Kura Iwi o Aotearoa and a number of principals.

About the planning process
The planning process is interactive and includes iterative discussion between the principal and the board. This will ensure there are ‘no surprises’ and contributes to building a constructive working relationship.

The context of principal’s learning is the school’s long-term strategic directions and student achievement goals. The board also has a role to support the principal to achieve their individual career aspirations.

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