Professional Standards for Primary Principals


Strengthen communication and relationships to enhance student learning.
  • Work with the board to facilitate strategic decision making.
  • Actively foster relationships with the school’s community and local iwi.
  • Actively foster professional relationships with, and between colleagues, and with government agencies and others with expertise in the wider education community.
  • Interact regularly with parents and the school community on student progress and other school-related matters.
  • Actively foster relationships with other schools and participate in appropriate school networks.

Partnerships and networks: Creating positive links to support learning

Principals who strengthen partnerships and networks to enhance student learning:
  • are knowledgeable and strategic about wider trends and opportunities in education
  • are enterprising and resourceful in developing informal or formal partnerships that promote learning opportunities for students
  • demonstrate the interpersonal skills needed for building strong relationships with key stakeholder groups such as trustees, parents, whānau, and local organisations
  • can manage the conflicts and dilemmas that sometimes arise in the school community
  • are able to connect with their peers in other schools to build effective professional learning communities.
Effective principals have external networks that range from face-to-face through to online contacts. Networks help provide them with up-to- date and relevant knowledge about educational trends and issues. They give opportunities for making connections and developing learning partnerships that can be an effective way of sharing resources. Local schools may cluster together to share ideas, to organise student or professional learning, or to support one another. Principals are expected to work with partner schools in these clusters. They are also expected to engage actively with the Ministry with regard to students who have disabilities.
Effective principals are community leaders. This starts with their role as chief executive of the board of trustees. They work with trustees as representatives of the local community in setting the strategic direction for the school and determining priorities. A school’s vision and values statements have strengthened validity when they are developed in partnership with the local community.
Effective principals also work with local parents and caregivers on home-school partnerships that ensure all students are welcome and their learning needs addressed. Partnerships that succeed in engaging parents with the learning of their children have been shown to contribute to improved student outcomes (Biddulph et al, 2003).

The people who make up a school community are not typically of one mind on many issues. There will often be a range of views across different interest groups on educational matters. Effective principals are sensitive to these differences and work with groups and individuals to develop common understandings, and ideally consensus, on key educational issues.

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