Five schools have been given approval to offer up to $50,000 to help recruit a principal with the right skills to meet significant challenges at their school.
Education Minister Hekia Parata said schools in Northland, Waikato, Hawke's Bay and Canterbury were the first to gain approval to use the new allowance.
She said to qualify for it, they must have problems such as significant underachievement, serious safety issues (for students and/or staff) or a high principal turnover.
"It'll be different according to the particular needs of different schools, but it will likely be a principal who already has had a track record of raising achievement in communities where there have been challenges."
Ms Parata said the Government was supporting schools with significant challenges to lift educational achievement.
The first five to be approved are Opononi School and Mangamuka School in Northland, Ngaruawahia High School in Waikato, Kimi Ora Community School in Hawke's Bay and Aranui Community Campus in Christchurch.