School governance

There are a number of considerations that are unique to the role of the principal that must be taken into account when considering a flexible work arrangement.

Principals have a clear set of accountabilities which distinguish their work from other employees in the Teaching Service and the education community. The principal is accountable for the overall leadership, management and development of the school within state-wide guidelines and government policies, and exercises powers of the Secretary of the department under delegation. The principal is accountable for management of the school at all times, including responding to critical incidents outside of hours.

It is critical that responsibilities for school governance issues, including decisions about budget and resourcing, are clearly documented and understood by the relevant approver when considering a flexible work arrangement.

Exercise of delegations


The co-principal agreement should include:

  • days of work (separate and/or shared)
  • division of accountabilities, responsibilities and duties of the principal role across the week including outside of school hours
  • how the relationship with the school council will be managed
  • how the exercise of delegations will be managed between the co-principals, including how disagreements will be resolved. An example includes seeking the view of the relevant senior education improvement leader where the co-principals are unable to agree.

The co-principal agreement is flexible and can be adjusted to meet the specific flexible work arrangement. The arrangements must be endorsed by the school council and approved by the Deputy Secretary, Schools Regional Services at the time of signing the co-principal contract.

Part-time principals with acting principal arrangement

Under the department’s delegations framework, delegations are exercised by the relevant position – an acting principal may exercise the relevant delegations on the day that they are acting.

The acting and substantive principals should have a clear understanding and agreement about decision-making and the acting principal should work with the substantive principal to ensure that any exercise of delegation is consistent with the expectations of the substantive principal.

Performance and progression


For the purposes of performance review and progression co-principals should have a common professional development plan.

The regional director is permitted to consider performance of co-principals against the common professional development plan on an individual basis.

Part time

For the purposes of performance review and progression, principals and acting principals will be assessed against the requirements of their substantive role and will only receive progression on their substantive position. Any duties completed as part of an acting arrangement may be considered as part of the acting principal’s professional development. The substantive principal retains the accountability for the successful operation of the school.

Includes information on the considerations that must be taken into account when considering a flexible work arrangement

Reviewed 14 August 2023

Was this page helpful?