Summary: Secondary School Specialist Classroom Teacher role

A Specialist Classroom Teacher provides professional development, guidance, mentoring and induction to other staff.

Specialist Classroom Teachers are appointed from a school’s permanent staff. They get a Specialist Classroom Teacher allowance, and a certain number of hours per week for their duties. The Secondary Teachers’ Collective Agreement, clause 3.8B, sets out the relevant allowances and requirements.

Specialist Classroom Teacher time

  • A school with up to 1,200 students has four hours a week of Specialist Classroom Teacher time.
  • A school with more than 1,200 students has eight hours a week of Specialist Classroom teacher time.

This time is in addition to the teachers’ usual non-contact time.

Specialist Classroom Teacher requirements

A Specialist Classroom Teacher must:

  • Be a permanently appointed, registered teacher, full or part time, with a significant classroom teaching load.
  • Have at least six years teaching experience (in New Zealand or overseas).
  • Have three successful attestations against the experienced classroom teacher standards, or overseas equivalent.

Specialist Classroom Teacher payment and allowances

A Specialist Classroom Teacher is eligible for:

  • An allowance of $8,000 a year
  • Reimbursement of study fees of up to $1,000 a year for two years, for study towards relevant post graduate qualifications upon their first appointment as Specialist Classroom Teacher.

Note:A Specialist Classroom Teacher cannot hold any permanent units, they can keep one fixed term unit if the school requires them to continue a specific responsibility.

Appointing a Specialist Classroom Teacher outside the terms and guidelines

Under some circumstances, schools may be able to appoint a Specialist Classroom Teacher who does not meet the guidelines and terms of the collective agreement. To do this they will need concurrence, official agreement, from the Ministry of Education. For more information on this email

(The summary on this page is not intended as a substitute for the full text of the collective agreement, or for expert advice from the New Zealand School Trustees Association or a legal advisor.)

Content last updated: 21 May 2015