South Australia and New Zealand Principal Exchange

The South Australia and New Zealand Principal Exchange gives state or state-integrated principals an opportunity to gain leadership experience in a different country. For 2017, there are 2 placements for NZ principals to take part in an exchange with a similar school in South Australia. Applications closed on 27 February 2017.


Each exchange involves a 10 week, single term placement for Term 3 2017. Principals are expected to arrive a week before the beginning of the term and return a week after the term ends. 

Exchange timeframe

  • Applications open: December 2016 – principals apply with the support of their board
  • Applications close: 27 February 2017
  • Principals (and boards) advised of outcome: 10 April 2017
  • Exchange begins: 24 July 2017
  • Exchange ends: 29 September 2017

Who can apply 

New Zealand principals employed on a full time permanent basis in a primary, area or secondary state or state integrated school can apply.  The application form covers the eligibility criteria in full.


Private and Partnership school principals and all assistant or deputy principals aren’t eligible to apply for this exchange.

Apply for the exchange

Download the application form [PDF, 152 KB].

Email your application to by Monday 27 February at 5pm.

The application form also contains more information about the application process including what the selection panel will be looking for in the successful applicant.

Information for principals and boards about how the exchange works

Read about this years exchange principal's term at Te Wharau School in Gisborne (external link)  and read about Steve Berezowski's experience in South Adelaide (external link) .

Board expectations of the exchange principal on both sides of the exchange

  • take responsibility for the educational leadership and day-to-day administration of their host school, and any other tasks as delegated by the DECD (Australian based principal)
  • represent their host school to stakeholders, parents, families, whānau and the community
  • enhance their knowledge and leadership skills through collaboration with host school staff as they help their governing body address the pedagogical and other challenges facing the school
  • report and share what they have learnt to support the development of principals in their own country.

The current principal continues to be involved with his or her school while on the exchange

Given that the Exchange is only for one school term, there may be instances where it would be inappropriate for an exchange principal to make decisions, without taking advice from the substantive principal.

The role of the board during the exchange

The normal governance decision making role of the board will continue, with an exchange principal reporting to the board.

The board would expect to receive reports on pedagogical and other key matters affecting the school from the exchange principal, and that it would provide ongoing feedback about the Exchange principal’s performance in the role, just as it would with the substantive principal.

Support for boards and the decision making process during the exchange

The board can get advice from a range of sources during the period of the Exchange. For Human Resource issues, we recommend working with the  local NZSTA adviser who can provide advice and can work with the board chair and exchange principal as needed. In the case of a financial issue, we recommend the Board contact their local Ministry office. 

After the exchange

  • At the end of the exchange, the board is encouraged to provide a formal debrief to the exchange principal on how they felt the exchange went.
  • The host board can also write a brief report to the Ministry about its experience of the exchange, together with any suggestions for future improvements. 

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback