For Principals interested in becoming an ESS pool member, click here for more information.

Te Whakarōputanga, on behalf of the Ministry of Education, administers the Emergency Staffing Scheme (ESS), which provides last resort help for school boards of state/integrated schools who are unable to attract relieving Principals.

Qualifying criteria

To qualify for an ESS pool member, a board must be able to demonstrate that:

  • An "acting up" appointment is not possible or practicable within the school
  • Advertising locally for a relief principal has been unsuccessful 
  • All reasonable efforts are being/have been made to use normal avenues for appointing a permanent principal where applicable 
  • The need is otherwise consistent with emergency staffing 
  • The need is temporary (not more than 10 weeks) 
  • The need is to provide for last resort coverage for a situation the board cannot control, e.g.  the principal/deputy principal has another position, major illness, etc 
  • The request is not to provide for day-to-day casual relief.

Boards who need ESS assistance should contact the National ESS Coordinator: Lucienne Shelley, (not the Ministry of Education) who will coordinate any placements.

The ESS pool member would be available within 5 days, but may under some circumstances be available within 24 hours.

ESS pool members are experienced principals who can provide leadership to a range of different schools including primary, area and secondary schools for a period of one term.

ESS pool members are not "change agents", nor are they available to resolve possible conflicts between the community and the board.  They are only available to fill last resort vacancies, for a maximum of one term.

Due to the 'emergency' nature of the scheme, boards do not have the opportunity to screen pool members for suitability. 

Payment of ESS pool member's salary

If the position to be covered by the ESS pool member is:

  1. Currently vacant:
    Then the ESS pool principal’s salary is paid from Staffing Entitlements. The board becomes the pool member's employer with the provisions of the relevant Collective Agreement applying., including the school roll-based salary component. ESS pool members are paid at the rate applicable to their qualifications and experience.

  2. To cover a principal on long term leave with pay (and sick leave):
    Then the ESS pool principal’s salary is met by the board from its operational funding. 

    You can apply for additional relief teacher funding in the usual way if your situation meets the conditions outlined in the additional relief teacher funding scheme: Additional relief teacher funding

Application process and ESS Guidelines

Application process and ESS Guidelines

  1. Boards who need ESS assistance, and meet the qualifying criteria, should first contact the ESS National Coordinator.
  2. A request for ESS assistance is made via email from the Presiding Member (Chair) / LSM / Commissioner using the application form available from NZSTA website (see template below). The request must include background information outlining the situation and the actions the board has taken to meet the ESS qualifying criteria.
  3. If you are a Presiding Member (Chair) applying for ESS assistance, please obtain agreement from your board to engage an ESS Principal. We suggest you begin this process as soon as you think you may require ESS assistance. The application form below includes a suggested resolution for this.
  4. The ESS National Coordinator will then process the ESS application to assess against the criteria.
  5. Once approved, the ESS National Coordinator will make every endeavour to locate an available ESS pool member and put them in contact with the presiding member.
  6. The ESS relieving principal will then travel to the school for the approved period of the placement.
  7. Placements are for no more than one term. A new request is required for each term, which needs to be approved by the MoE through the ESS National coordinator.
  8. Click HERE to read the ESS code of practice / Guidelines for School Boards. This provides an overview of ESS, how salaries are paid and any allowances available.

If you require further assistance, please contact the National ESS Coordinator - Lucienne Shelley on 021 190 7273.