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Australian Principal Occupational, Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey 2020

A survey of Australia’s principals has found last year’s ravaging bushfires, followed by shock floods, and the COVID-19 global pandemic had an immense impact on the stress and workload of school leaders.   

The Australian Principal Occupational, Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey 2020, jointly conducted by researchers at Australian Catholic University (ACU) and Deakin University, surveyed 2,248 school principals across all states and the territories.

A key find of more than 40% of principals being exposed to threats of violence or being a victim of physical violence in 2020 was up to 9 times greater than the general population.

Watch the Australian Principal Wellbeing Survey 2021 Video (3 minute watch).

Co-chief investigator for the survey and ACU Institute for Positive Psychology and Education (IPPE) Professor Herb Marsh said, “The extremely long work hours and constant exposure to stress during 2020 left school principals exhausted.”

“During 2020, almost all principals (97%) worked overtime and close to 70% worked more than 56 hours a week during school term, and 25 hours a week during the holidays. The main sources of stress were the sheer quantity of work, the lack of time to focus on teaching and learning, the mental health issues of students and the expectations of the employer,” Professor Marsh said.

“During the survey period, three of out 10 school leaders (almost 30%) received a red flag email alerting them to contact employee support services. These alert emails are triggered when school leaders are at risk of self-harm, occupational health problems or serious impacts to their quality of life.”

Read the full article here –

Read the Survey Report here –

How does being a member of the IEU help Principals and Deputy Principals?

The IEU covers members in leadership positions at schools. There is no requirement for you to resign our support and benefits – we can mark your membership as confidential to all but the IEU. Call us on 8410 0122 and have a confidential chat to the Organiser for your school. We are here to give you the support you deserve.

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