Survey results highlight increasing workload intensification for Principals

The SPC is concerned about the increasing workload intensification being experienced by principals in public schools following the release of 2018 data from The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey. The President of the SPC, Chris Presland, said these findings come as no surprise:

“We have been surveying SPC members for a number of years about principal wellbeing and the increasing workload is consistently identified as one of the most significant issues impacting negatively on principals. This is supported by the survey data where we see 53% of principals working more than 56 hours per week and 1 in 4 working more than 61-65 hours per week. However, what is most concerning is the fact that this survey is now in its 8th year and is showing the same trends again and again. This should be a wakeup call to our policymakers and leaders that this problem isn’t going away.”

Mr. Presland suggested that the cumulative stress reported by principals is also linked to the changingrole of being a school leader:

“A principal wears many hats of responsibility from being a mediator to an instructional leader and rolemodel for staff and students. There has certainly been an increase in the sheer volume of work within the role of being a principal, however the other aspect of workload intensification is a little more nuanced and that’s about the process of change being experienced in schools on a social, technological and organisational level. This is highlighted by the increasing number of work tasks, the “parenting” that increasingly seems to be a part of what schools are expected to do, shortages of specialist expertise and unreasonable timeframes and deadlines.”

Despite the survey results highlighting the need for better policies and resources to support principals,Mr. Presland was positive about the overall job satisfaction:

“What these survey findings show is that we need to support and build a culture of leadership resilience and increase internal social and personal capital for principals and schools. Being a NSW public school principal is a wonderful privilege and aspiring leaders should not be deterred from taking that next step in their principalship journey.”

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