Principals' career and appraisal toolkit

The Principals' career and appraisal toolkit provides guidance from the New Zealand Secondary Principals' Council (NZSPC) regarding the new career structure and appraisal process included in Part 4 of the Secondary Principals’ Collective Agreement (SPCA).

Secondary Principals' Collective Agreement (SPCA) 2016

icon-pdf Advice to principals regarding principal performance appraisal

Principals' Performance Appraisal (July 2018)

SPCA 2016 Part Four: Professional Leadership and Annual Performance Review

- performance agreements (SPCA, 4.1)

- performance reviews (SPCA, 4.2)

- SPCA 2016 Professional Standards for Principals

From July 2011 a principal's career development will be described in three phases, as defined by service and professional ciriteria in the collective agreement (4.4b):

SPCA 2016 4.4: Secondary principals' career structure

NZSPC principals toolkit postcard

  • initial principalship
  • experienced principal
  • leading principal

The professional criteria are measured through a principal's performance agreement and review process.

Professional Learning Plan (PLP)

A PLP forms part of the performance agreement. It is a board's responsibility to initiate this, but it is always beneficial for a principal to be an active participant, particularly now that an agreed programme of professional learning and development is included (SPCA 4.1.2b).

The PLP is not about overseeing the learning of others

It is about supporting principals to pursue ongoing, relevant professional learning that informs their own leadership and management of their school.

The PLP should be explicitly linked to the performance agreement

PLP goals (two or three are plenty) in the learning plan should match the goals in the performance agreement.

First time principals will have support from their mentor to shape their PLP

There should be some flexibility in the agreed processes for the PLP and performance agreement to allow for shifts and development of goals - so that they remain useful and relevant, both personally and in terms of developing and leading a school's strategic plan.

Professional learning plan: checklists, examples and templates

These checklists, templates and examples are offered as a guide. Comments, feedback and relevant contributions to the toolkit are welcome:


Developing a performance agreement and professional learning plan (PLP) checklist

Professional learning plan (PLP) template for principals

Principal appraisal – a checklist for principals

Sample performance agreement (Appendix B of NZSPC advice to principals regarding performance appraisal

Practising Teacher Criteria (PTC) cross referenced with the professional standards for principals (to be updated)

Principal’s Job description – what does it need?

Here’s a few you might like to try on for size…

Job description, example A

Job description, example B

Job description, example C (An integrated special character school, and this includes a performance agreement with the job description)

Web links for secondary school principals

Educational Leaders website(MoE)

- Information for first-time principals

- Information for experienced principals

- First time principals programme online modules

BES (Iterative Best Evidence Synthesis) Programme

The First time principals programme also offers exemplars and support in developing PLPs.

Last modified on Friday, 9 August 2019 16:12