New Zealand Principal Job Shadow Pilot

The New Zealand Principal Job Shadow pilot has been modeled on the South Australia New Zealand Principal Exchange. It offers an opportunity for 6 Principals who are seeking development, to select the type of job shadow that would provide the growth they are looking for.

Options include:

  • A beginning or aspiring Principal shadows an experienced Principal
  • English and Māori medium shadows
  • Rural / isolated and urban setting shadows
  • Primary, area or secondary school shadows in a different sector.

The job shadow will run through term 3 of 2019. The first stage of the shadow will occur over weeks 1 to 4 (22/7/19 to 16/8/19), then the second stage of the shadow will occur over weeks 6 to 9 (26/8/19 to 20/9/19).

Relieving costs for the Principals while they are away from their school or kura will be covered, as well as transport (flights/vehicle) and accommodation during the term of the job shadow.

Who can apply?

Principals' employed in a primary, area or secondary state or state integrated school in New Zealand. This includes teaching, deputy and assistant principals.

Applicants are divided into two categories:

  1. Applicant Principals - those seeking development, who would like to shadow principal in a different setting and with different experiences to their own. Applicant principals can also offer the opportunity for another applicant to shadow them in return
  2. Contributing Principals - Principals who feel others can benefit from shadowing themselves and experiencing the responsibilities associated with their role.


  • Be an eligible Principal, including teaching, assistance or deputy Principal
  • Be employed in a primary, area or secondary state or state integrated school in NZ
  • New Zealand citizen, permanent resident or resident of at least 3 years
  • Fully registered and certificated teacher
  • Have the support of your school’s Board of Trustees
  • Be available in Term three of 2019
  • Not currently be under review or investigation for competence and/or conduct and discipline.

Key dates

  • Applications and expressions of interest open: 12/12/18
  • Applications close: 11/3/19
  • Applicants notified of outcome: 18/4/19
  • Stage 1 job shadow, including one way shadows (term 3 weeks 1 to 4): 22/7/19 to 16/8/19
  • Stage 2 job shadow (term 3 weeks 6 to 9): 26/8/19 to 20/9/19
  • Regional debriefs: week of 28/10/19.

How to apply

Please use the online application form on the right hand side of this page indicating whether you are applying to be an Applicant Principal or a Contributing Principal.

Make sure your application is complete and correct, or it may not be considered.

Section one - Applicant details

Please indicate if you wish to be an applicant or contributing principal for the job shadow programme, as well as your contact and teaching details.  If you would like to apply for both, please email 

Section two - Current employment

Please complete your current employment details and school as this will assist the panel in their selection and matching processes.

Section three - Your Curriculum Vitae

It is important that you provide a current cv which includes all your educational qualifications, employment, teaching history and information about extra-curricular activities undertaken as part of schooling duties, and outside of school.

You will need to create and save a document (word/pdf) with this information in, then drag and drop into the designated space on the online application form.

Section four - Statement

In your statement we ask that you cover the following areas:

  • information about your school
  • your leadership experience
  • any referees who would support your application

 About your school:

  • describe your school’s programmes and educational values
  • a brief description of your school’s student body and faculty
  • include anything unique or special about your school

 Your leadership experience:

  • what does educational leadership meant to you, and how have you demonstrated this leadership throughout your career so far?
  • what do you hope to gain from this experience, what motivated you to apply?
  • describe a challenge you have faced as a principal, deputy or assistant principal, particularly the steps you took to lead change and engage others in making a difference.
    • tell us how you measured and evaluated the success of the steps you took, particularly the impact on student learning outcomes.
    • what lessons did you learn from this challenge about what works? How and when have you applied what you learnt since then?
    • If your application is successful, how do you propose to share what you have learnt with other educators?

You will need to create and save a document with this information in, then drag and drop into the designated space on the online application form.

Section five - Board of Trustees Support

Please provide evidence that your Board of Trustees (BOT) supports your application.

Evidence of support can be:

  • copy of an email sent directly from your BOT Chairperson to you confirming support
  • a letter signed by the BOT Chairperson
  • a copy of relevant BOT minutes confirming support for you to undertake the programme

Note: Evidence of Board of Trustees support should come from the employment authority (Employer), in most cases this would be the Board of Trustees chairperson or another Board member with this delegation.

You will need to create/scan and save a document  with this information in, then drag and drop into the designated space on the online application form.

Don’t forget to review your application before submitting.

What the selection panel considers

The selection panel will look for applicants who:

  • have a record of success as a school leader and capacity for leadership into the future
  • are committed to public education
  • give evidence of their enthusiasm for furthering their own professional development and education.

It will also consider:

  • your experience as a principal in a New Zealand state or state-integrated school
  • any personal qualities and experience that enhance your suitability
  • why you wish to be involved in the programme.

Maintaining contact with your school in New Zealand

You will be responsible for maintaining contact with your school while you are undertaking the job shadow:

  • keep informed of any organisational changes, development opportunities or current vacancies
  • maintain social networks and foster a sense of still being a part of your school.

When you return from the Job Shadow

When you return, you must share what you have learnt on the Exchange with the Ministry and your school. This information will inform future experiences.

We also encourage you to keep in contact with your principal counterpart after the job shadow.

Further information

If you have any questions, please email or call us on 0800 165 225.

New Zealand Teachers Council New Zealand Education Gazette New Zealand Qualifications Authority Immigration New Zealand