John Key. Photo NZ Herald
The leadership of New Zealand schools has been
overhauled, with the Government creating new roles including
'executive principals' and 'expert teachers'.
The change was announced today by Prime Minister John Key in
a state of the nation-style speech in Auckland this morning.
The Government will spend an extra $359 million over the next
four years to support teachers and principals, which will
create four new management roles in schools - executive
principals, expert teachers, lead teachers and change
"These new roles will recognise and use talent where it's
needed most and will be implemented from next year," Mr Key
The four positions will not be put in place at every school.
Executive principals will provide leadership across a
community of schools, and be paid an additional allowance of
$40,000 a year. Each will work with an average of 10 schools.
Change principals will be employed to lift achievement in
schools that are struggling. About 20 of these positions will
be needed a year, and principals in this role will be given
an additional $50,000 a year.
Lead teachers will be "highly capable" school teachers who
will act as role models for those in their own school and
those in their area. The Government anticipates around 5000
will be needed.
Expert teachers will work with executive principals and
include experts in areas like maths and science.
The role will be on a two-year fixed-term basis, and their
own school will receive funding to backfill their role for
the two days a week they will be working with other schools.
Mr Key told the West Auckland business audience that New
Zealand's education system needed to be improved, and the new
changes outlined by the National Government were designed to
lift student achievement.
"We want the best teachers and principals to lead a step
change in achievement and we are going to pay them more to
get it," he said.
Mr Key said details of the new roles still needed to be
worked out, and that would be done in consultation with the
education profession, including unions.
"Our intent is clear. We want to recognise excellent teachers
and principals, keep good teachers in the classroom, and
share expertise across schools and amongst teachers."
It is intended all roles will be fully in place by 2017.
His address comes after New Zealand's poor performance in
OECD league tables published in December, which led to
Labour's education spokesman Chris Hipkins saying New
Zealand's scores were in "absolute freefall" and widespread
debate about the direction of the education system.
It was New Zealand's first big drop in the rankings - from
7th to 13th in reading, 13th to 22nd equal in maths and 7th
to 18th in science.
The Programme for International Study Assessment (Pisa)
report also showed that the gap between 15-year-old students
who are excelling and those who are failing has widened.
Some of today's changes are similar to those used overseas.
Last year Education Minister Hekia Parata hosted the OECD's
Andreas Schleicher, who designed the Pisa system, and was
told that top-performing countries ensured the most talented
school leaders and staff went to the most needy schools.
In Shanghai, which topped the most recent results,
vice-principals at successful schools can only become
principals if they show they can turn around one of the
Mr Schleicher told the Herald at the time that some New
Zealand schools in disadvantaged areas did much better on the
Pisa test, and the reasons for that needed to be shared
Estimates of new positions at schools:
• 250 executive principals
• 1000 expert teachers
• 5000 lead teachers
• 20 change principals (appointed each year)
• Executive principal - paid additional allowance of $40,000
• Expert teacher - paid additional allowance of $20,000 a
• Lead teacher - paid additional allowance of $10,000 a
• Change principal - paid additional allowance of $50,000 a