Menu

Education Today Logo


newsletter

Education Today Cover Browse Issue

Principal Health Wellbeing Survey: long hours but job satisfaction

The 2016 Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey was released this week. The survey has run nationally every year since 2011. Since the project began, approximately 50% of Australia’s 10,000 principals have taken part.

Media coverage about school principals’ occupational health, safety and wellbeing has increased significantly, raising awareness of the issue. In response to the 2014 survey, the Teachers Health Fund has reduced waiting time for new members requesting psychological services from 12 to 2 months.

The survey found 55% of principals worked upwards of 51-56 hours per week, with ~27% working longer. Although this has not increased since the survey's inception, it is too high for a healthy lifestyle.

"There appears to have been some easing of hours worked during term break, which could be a welcome indicator that school leaders are acting on the evidence that managing their own health and wellbeing cannot be ignored," said AHISA CEO Beth Blackwood. 

"At the same time, there is evidence of further deterioration in health indicators such as stress, sleeping troubles and burnout."

The two greatest sources of stress for the last five years have been workload and no time for teaching and learning. An increasing source of stress has become mental health issues of students and staff.

There has been an increase in 'Offensive Behaviour' experienced, with the prevalence rate for 'Threats of Violence' extremely high and 'Actual Physical Violence' also very high. Although South Australia and Queensland have seen a decrease in offensive behaviour during the same period.

"Schools are tasked with creating safe communities for students and respectful relationships must be modelled by all adults in those communities if schools are to succeed in this role. Civil behaviour should be a general expectation of all Australians," said Blackwood.

Despite this, participants report significantly higher job satisfaction than the general population.

 

 

 

 


11 Apr 2019 | National
AITSL Stakeholder Survey now open News Image

Teachers, school leaders and the entire education sector can have their say in the 2019 Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership Survey which is open now. Read More

11 Apr 2019
Early career teachers get dramatic with NIDA News Image

NIDA continues to invest in the creative practice of early career teachers in primary and secondary schools with the 2019 Creative Ambassador’s Initiative.
Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
New teachers love induction support app News Image

Downloaded more than 17,000 times, the AITSL My Induction app offers expert advice, answers to frequently asked questions and allows new teachers to track their professional wellbeing. Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
Reform of preschools front and centre in election period News Image

Research shows that two years of quality preschool sets a child up for success, and happily the issue is gaining traction with politicians.
Read More

10 Apr 2019 | National
Domestic violence causes homelessness News Image

The number of people seeking help from homelessness services due to domestic and family violence has risen in recent years but only 4% of those who approached a homelessness service for long-term housing actually received it. Read More