Workload stresses need to be addressed with adequate resources

Rising stress levels among principals has prompted a renewed call from the Australian Education Union for governments to properly resource schools.

The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey released by Teachers Health Fund reports the main cause of rising stress levels for principals is the sheer quantity of administrative work” they are required to perform, plus a lack of time to focus on teaching and learning.

Federation President Maurie Mulheron said the survey results expose the reality of ‘principal autonomy’.

“Devolving responsibilities to principals under Local Schools, Local Decisions has been a key factor in their increasing workloads,” he said.

AEU Federal President Correna Haythorpe said: “Being a principal will always be a difficult and challenging job, but we can reduce some of this stress by making sure all schools have the resources they need.”

“The AEU’s 2016 State of Our Schools Survey found that, 45 per cent of principals said their school is under-resourced or significantly under-resourced, and 48 per cent say they struggle to fill staff vacancies.

“Lifting resources will deliver better results for students, as well as reduce stress on educators. This is why we need the Turnbull Government to deliver the full six years of Gonski funding, rather than push ahead with its plan to stop $3.8 billion in extra resources going to schools,” Ms Haythorpe said.

“The report also outlines that principals are being exposed to increasing levels of violent and bullying behaviour, and that this contributes to the stress of the job.

“As well as supporting principals exposed to violent behaviour, we need to make sure that schools have the resources for students to get the individual support and programs they need to reduce difficult behaviours,” Ms Haythorpe said.

Click here for the AEU’s media release