Information for principals

The principal is delegated by the school board under section 66 of the Education Act 1989 to ensure that public money is being appropriately spent in the payroll. Whether this is through the Operational Grant (BG) or through Teachers Salaries (TS), that all salary and wage instructions comply with the intentions of the board, and are correctly actioned, and that expenditure is appropriately recorded in school accounting systems.

The principal's payroll responsibilities

As an employer, you must:

  • ensure you are aware of the payroll responsibilities of the school board, see information for school boards
  • know your payroll responsibilities and how they align with other responsibilities
  • employ staff and ensure they are remunerated in line with relevant employment agreements and legal obligations
  • follow requirements for managing employees' leave, see leave management.
  • keep employees notified of payroll matters/changes, and provide advice when requested
  • provide accurate and timely employee, payroll and employer/school information to Education Payroll (or the Ministry, where specified)
  • notify Education Payroll and relevant employees (and the Ministry, where relevant) of any errors, and assist in the resolution of those errors where required
  • contribute to the continual improvement of the payroll services
  • manage the school's payroll budget
  • provide appropriate school IT infrastructure for payroll.

Authorised user access and training

Principals must know how to use EdPay and be an authorised EdPay user, to ensure that they can fulfil their delegated management accountabilities, and manage administrators' pay. 

Principals have access to all school employees details, including their own, and are the only role that can change a school-wide administrator's details. A principal cannot delegate this access.

Audit compliance

As a formal delegate of the school board, you must: 

  • comply with Education Payroll's requirements for signatures on authorised forms, see completing forms.
  • ensure that the person who checks the Staff Usage and Expenditure (SUE) reports is not the same person who entered the payroll information, see fortnightly pay.
  • ensure that each SUE report and accompanying transaction reports are verified and formally signed off by an independent reviewer, and are filed securely with financial records, see reports.
  • ensure that all paper instructions and source documents are filed in HR files (including personal files) that are held securely at the school, see payroll record keeping.

Your own payroll instructions

EdPay does not allow any users at a school to alter a principal's salary details, and only the principal can see their own records.

The Ministry of Education will send instructions regarding the principal's pay details after the 1 November provisional rolls and the 1 March confirmed rolls directly to Education Payroll.

Your annual leave balance is not currently held in EdPay. This is part of the information that must be kept by the board.

Other payroll instructions for principals must be submitted via a form. The form must be authorised by the Board chairperson. For more information, see completing forms.

Resolve a payroll matter

If you cannot resolve a payroll matter using information on this website, see contact us for the appropriate contact point.

Related links

Ministry of Education's website:

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