John Key announced an overhaul of the education system during his annual state of the nation speech to a business audience in Auckland.
It includes lucrative allowances for a raft of newly created positions in schools, including executive principals, expert teachers, lead teachers and change principals.
Under the changes four new positions have been created, but they won't be installed in every school.
* An executive principal who would provide leadership across a community of schools while remaining in their own school. About 10 schools on average would be involved and executive principals would be paid an additional allowance of about $40,000 a year. They would have to be proven performers and would be freed up for two days a week to work with the other schools in their community.
* Expert teachers who would include experts in areas like maths and science, digital technology and literacy. They would work with executive principals. Expert teachers would also be appointed on a two-year basis and would receive an extra $20,000 a year in additional allowances. About 1000 expert teachers would be appointed once the scheme was fully under way.
* Lead teachers would be what the Government labels "highly capable" schoolteachers, who would act as role models for teachers within their own schools. They would be paid an additional allowance of $10,000 a year in recognition of their status. About 5000 lead teachers would be in place eventually.
* Change principals would be employed to lift achievement in schools that were struggling and would be paid an additional $50,000 a year on top of their salary to encourage the best principals to take on the challenge.
The positions would be offered on a three to five-year fixed term.