Select a category below to be taken to questions and answers relating to that topic.
Where did the Secondary Principals’ Sabbatical come from?
The Secondary Principals’ Sabbatical was negotiated as one of the professional learning provisions for principals as part of the Secondary Principals’ Collective Agreement (SPCA).
What is this award?
The purpose of this sabbatical is to provide a sustained period during a principal’s career to engage in a balance of professional learning, reflection and rejuvenation.
The school receives relief funding in accordance with the relevant collective agreement, while the principal is on sabbatical.
What is the purpose of the Secondary Principals’ Sabbatical?
The purpose of the Secondary Principals’ Sabbatical is to:
How many sabbaticals are available each year?
Each year there are 40 paid full-time equivalent sabbaticals, each of a maximum of up to 10 school weeks’ duration, available to principals in state or state-integrated secondary schools covered by the SPCA.
Principals are able to apply for a ten-week sabbatical (which may be taken in two blocks), a five-week sabbatical or a three-week sabbatical.
Note that this may result in sabbaticals being awarded to more than 40 secondary principals during one school year.
What are the expectations if awarded a sabbatical if awarded a sabbatical?
If awarded a sabbatical, you must:
If you are successful and then decline the offer of a sabbatical, you can re-apply with no prejudice in a subsequent year.
A sabbatical cannot be postponed to the next year.
However, under exceptional circumstances the principal and board of trustees/employer may agree to postpone the leave to the first or second term of the following year, subject to notifying TeachNZ.
When will I find out the outcome of my application?
You will be notified by Thursday 10 September 2020.
What does a Secondary Principals’ Sabbatical provide?
A Secondary Principals’ Sabbatical provides paid leave for ten, five or three school weeks at the principal’s normal salary. TeachNZ covers the relief costs to replace you while you are on sabbatical, including any holiday pay owing for the relief.
You can also apply for a reimbursement of costs clearly associated with your sabbatical to a maximum of $5,000. This MUST be applied for in your application, it cannot be at a later date.
The leave counts as service for most purposes.
Any salary increases or increments due during the sabbatical still apply, according to the provisions of the SPCA.
How long is a sabbatical?
You can apply for a sabbatical for either ten, five or three weeks.
If you are applying for ten weeks’ leave and choose to take your sabbatical in a term that is nine weeks in duration, you can choose to take the tenth week of your sabbatical either in the last week of the term before or the first week of the term after, in agreement with your school.
Can I take my sabbatical in two blocks?
Yes, your ten-week sabbatical can be taken in one or two blocks, with the board of trustees/employer’ approval. The blocks must be whole weeks in duration with the minimum block being three weeks.
The five and three-week sabbaticals cannot be split except by term breaks.
When can I take my sabbatical?
You can choose which term to take your sabbatical as long as your board of trustees/employer agrees. Please make sure you notify TeachNZ of the dates you plan to take your sabbatical.
What do I need to do to confirm dates for my sabbatical? Can my sabbatical dates change?
Please indicate on the application form the dates that you plan to take your sabbatical. If you are successful you will be asked to confirm the dates.
Please note that these must be agreed to with your school. Please notify TeachNZ if these dates change.
What will happen if I have applied for the wrong award?
Your application will only be assessed for the award you have applied for. It’s important that you check the application information to ensure you are applying for the correct award.
Do I need to return to the same school after completing my sabbatical?
There is an expectation that you will return either to your previous role or a role within the education workforce.
What if I am offered a position at a different school?
If you are offered a position at a different school you will need approval from the new school’s board of trustees/employer confirming that they will support you with your sabbatical. You would need to provide us with confirmation of support from the board of trustees/employer so we can advise the correct school on how to charge relief costs to TeachNZ.
Can I postpone my sabbatical until the next year?
You may request to postpone your sabbatical under exceptional circumstances to either Term 1 or 2 of the following year. You must have the approval from your board of trustees/employer to postpone your sabbatical. Please make this request in writing to TeachNZ with a short explanation of the reason for this change.
Can I withdraw from a Secondary Principals’ Sabbatical?
If you choose to withdraw, you can apply again in the future with no prejudice. You would need to let us know in writing that you would like to withdraw from the sabbatical. We can accept this by email to email@example.com.
Can I work while on a sabbatical?
No, you must not be in paid work while on sabbatical. The purpose of the Secondary Principals’ Sabbatical is to provide a sustained period of time in a principal’s career to engage in a balance of professional learning activities, reflection and rejuvenation.
You cannot work at your school, or another school while on sabbatical.
Can I submit more than one application for a sabbatical?
No, you can only submit one application for each sabbatical you apply for.
How is my application assessed?
First, we will check that your application meets all of the eligibility criteria. A selection panel, made up of representatives from the Ministry of Education, the New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA), the Post Primary Teachers’ Association (PPTA) and the Secondary Principals’ Association of New Zealand (SPANZ), will then assess your application on the following:
The selection panel will award the ten-week sabbaticals first and then the five and three-week sabbaticals will receive equal consideration. The selection panel may not award more than a total of 400 school weeks for sabbaticals in any school year.
The selection panel’s role is to ensure that the selection process is open, fair, consistent and impartial, and that it provides for equal opportunity and non-discrimination.
What if I am offered a position at a different school?
If it is not as a Secondary School principal position you will no longer be eligible for the sabbatical leave.
If you are offered a secondary principal position at a different school you will need approval from the new school’s board of trustees/employer. You will need to provide TeachNZ with written confirmation of support from the board of trustees/employer, so we can advise the correct school on how to charge teacher relief costs
What is the eligibility criteria?
To be eligible to apply for the Secondary Principals’ Sabbatical, you must:
I am on a fixed-term contract. Can I apply for a Secondary Principals’ Sabbatical?
Yes, as long as you meet the eligibility criteria. You will need to be employed by a school during the sabbatical as TeachNZ provides relief funding to your school while you are on sabbatical.
The eligibility criteria state that I need to have at least five years’ service as a secondary or area principal in a New Zealand state or state-integrated school. I am currently in my fifth year as a principal. Can I apply?
Yes, if you will have completed at least five years of service by the time of taking a sabbatical.
Do my years as an acting principal count towards the five years’ service?
Yes, if they were in a secondary or area school and consecutive to being appointed permanently as a principal.
I have already had a sabbatical. Can I apply again?
Yes, there is no requirement that you have to wait another five years to apply again; however, leave that a principal has taken is a selection factor.
Can I apply if I’m not a member of a union?
Yes, the awards are open to all principals in New Zealand state or state-integrated secondary schools who are employed under the terms and conditions of the Secondary Principals’ Collective Agreement, and who meet the eligibility criteria.
I am appointed to the Community of Schools leadership role, am I able to take sabbatical leave for Principals?
Yes, a principal in receipt of the allowance for the Community of Schools leadership role may apply for principals’ sabbatical leave to be taken while they hold that role provided that any application has the support of their employing board which shall consider the needs of the wider Community of Schools.
Where can I find information on the professional learning activities completed by previous sabbatical recipients?
Reports by successful applicants from previous years can be found on the Educational Leaders website, www.educationalleaders.govt.nz.
What professional learning activities are not approved for a sabbatical?
Can I change my sabbatical project after submitting an application?
Yes, but not substantially as this will need to be approved by TeachNZ. Please notify TeachNZ of this change in writing and provide details of your new sabbatical project and a short explanation of the reason for this change.
How should I present my proposal?
Please ensure you provide enough information for the selection panel to judge whether your sabbatical proposal meets the selection criteria and is realistic and achievable within the period of leave. You must complete your sabbatical proposal on the application form. This makes it easier for the selection panel to assess applications consistently.
Can I put in a joint sabbatical proposal with another principal?
You can put in a joint application for a sabbatical, but each application will be assessed separately by the selection panel, so they may be ranked differently.
Can I submit more than one sabbatical proposal with my application?
You can only submit one sabbatical proposal with your application.
What can I provide as evidence that my board of trustees/employer supports my application?
We can accept one of the following as board of trustees/employer support:
Board of trustees/employer support, in one of the formats outlined above, must be submitted by Tuesday 21 July 2020.
Please note that support from the board of trustees/employer is an eligibility factor.
Who has the authority to support my application on behalf of the board of trustee’s chairperson?
The deputy chairperson or another trustee who has delegated authority in the absence of the chairperson or their deputy. Please make sure this is clear on the application form.
Who can sign my application form if the board of trustees has been disestablished?
Please ask the commissioner acting in place of the board of trustees to confirm support for your application by signing your application form. Please ensure its clear the signature is that of the commissioner.
Who can support my application if my school has a limited statutory manager employed?
If the limited statutory manager is acting in place of the board of trustees for employment matters, ask the limited statutory manager to confirm support for your application by signing your application form, otherwise the board chairperson should sign. Please ensure it’s clear that the signature is that of the limited statutory manager.
What if I can’t provide confirmation of board of trustees/employer support when I submit my application?
If you have not received support from the board of trustees/employer you may still apply, but please send this in by Tuesday 21 July 2020. Please provide an explanation in the box provided on the application form as to why the support of the board of trustees/employer is not included with your application.
Please note that support from the board of trustees/employer is an eligibility criteria, and must be submitted by Tuesday 21 July 2020.
What happens if my application is late?
Late applications will not be considered. For your application to be considered, it must be submitted on or before Tuesday 30 June 2020.
Can I send in additional information after submitting my application?
You may submit additional information for your application up to Tuesday 21 July 2020 (over two weeks after the closing date), otherwise this cannot be considered with your application.
How will I know you have received my application?
You will receive an email to confirm that your application has arrived. Please contact us if you have not heard from us by Tuesday 21 July 2020.
What happens if my application is incomplete?
It’s important to ensure you’ve submitted all the required information. If your application is incomplete, or it is not in the correct format, the selection panel may not be able to assess it fully.
Can I email you my application?
No, we can only accept applications sent in by post or courier. For your application to be considered, it must be sent and postmarked on or before Tuesday 30 June 2020. You can apply online at www.teachnz.govt.nz/studyawards
Can I post a digital copy (on a disc or USB stick) of my application?
No, please submit a printed, unbound document on A4 paper.
Can I apply online?
Yes, just complete and submit your application form online at www.teachnz.govt.nz/studyawards before Tuesday 30 June 2020.
What will happen if my application is postmarked after Tuesday 30 June 2020?
Your application will not be considered.