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Lead school principal

The lead school principal/kura tumuaki will have delegations, along with the cluster manager, for cluster management on behalf of the board. Together, the principal/tumuaki and the cluster manager form the RTLB strategic leadership and management team.


A new lead school principal should seek mentoring support from experienced RTLB lead school principals.

The principal provides strategic leadership and management support for the cluster manager, particularly when there are employment, administrative, financial, relationship, education sector or community issues. 

The principal ensures that the cluster manager is managing the RTLB service on a day-to-day basis so that kura/schools, kaiako/teachers and students in the cluster receive an equitable, quality RTLB service and RTLB are supported in their role. 

Personnel management

The principal is responsible for the induction, attestation process, performance supervision and appraisal of the cluster manager.

In collaboration with the cluster manager the principal will ensure:

  • the obligations of a good employer are met
  • RTLB are suitably accommodated (housed)
  • the development of a competent RTLB workforce
  • all RTLB receive regular performance supervision and performance appraisal
  • ongoing monitoring of Tātaiako cultural competencies,
Financial management
  • Ensure the lead school has the financial systems to maintain RTLB financial records that support the RTLB service.
  • Ensure RTLB funding is accounted for separately from the school’s/kura's funding.
  • In collaboration with the cluster manager establish the cluster’s annual budget.
  • Approve and account to the board for expenditure against cluster targets.
  • Ensure RTLB funding is included in the school’s/kura's annual financial statements.
  • Ensure that distribution of RTLB learning support funding and/or resources is based on student or school need, not on a pro-rata basis.
  • Ensure that there is a robust needs analysis process that informs the allocation of funds and resources.
Planning and reporting
  • In collaboration with the cluster manager and key stakeholders, develop the RTLB service strategic and annual plans.
  • Report regularly (at least quarterly) to the board on the activities of the RTLB service: issues and risks, service patterns, outputs and outcomes, staffing and expenditure.
  • Support the cluster manager with the preparation of the annual narrative and financial reports. 
Sector relationships
  • Advocate for the RTLB service with cluster schools.
  • Meet regularly with cluster school principals.
  • Develop and maintain trusting and collaborative relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Meet regularly with the local Ministry Learning Support manager.
  • Where appropriate, include the cluster manager in meetings with community, sector and agency groups.

Content last updated: March 2018