QUEENSLAND school principals reported the worst amount of burnout, sleeping problems, stress and depressive symptoms compared with principals around the country, well before the COVID-19 pandemic, shocking research reveals.

The Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey 2019, published today, reveals record numbers of school principals – nearly one in three – faced stress and burnout from their jobs, including high levels of threats and physical violence by parents and students.

The nationwide survey was a joint-research project between Deakin University and the Australian Catholic University, also revealed alarming personal accounts from Queensland school leaders.

“I regularly get abused by parents and threatened by parents. It is quintessential bullying in many ways, as parents are focused on discredited the school and its processes and decision-making structures,” one school leader said in the survey.

“Leaving Education Queensland has been the best decision I ever made for my mental, emotional and physical health and wellbeing. I don’t feel ‘recovered’ but I’m on my way,” another school leader said.

And another school leader said the “unrealistic demands of parents is unsustainable”.
“Parents are so busy protecting students from consequences they don’t address poor or violent behaviour,” they said.

The survey, completed in 2019, prior to the bushfires, floods and COVID-19 pandemic, also reveals school leaders are more concerned for the mental health of students and staff than in any previous year.

The survey found that, compared to the general population, a far higher percentage of school leaders reported being threats of violence (51 per cent compared with 7.8 per cent), physical violence (42.2 per cent compared with 3.9 per cent) and bullying (37.6 per cent compared with 8.3 per cent).

And they also faced higher rates of conflict and quarrels (57.5 per cent compared with 51.2 per cent), and gossip and slander (50.9 per cent compared with 38.9 per cent).

But researchers from ACU and Deakin believe mass disruptions to school and home life during COVID-19 could improve community appreciation for school principals.

Deakin University Professor Phil Riley said the coronavirus shutdown of schools had shown communities the vital role school leaders play.

“The sudden changes to education delivery prompted by COVID-19 restrictions required an unprecedented response by school leaders to rollout remote learning opportunities for their students,” Professor Riley said.

And ACU Professor Herb Marsh said while violence was a problem, school leaders were drawing a line in the sand that the appalling behaviour must end in schools.

“The combined impact of record levels of heavy workloads and offensive behaviour by parents and students is a risk to school leaders’ long-term health and even their life expectancy.”

The report made recommendations in solving the issues faced by principals including; long-term policy and planning and providing greater personal resources to help them cope; reducing job demands and/or increasing resources; and changing community perceptions of school leaders.

Education Minister Grace Grace said the State Government was acutely aware of the challenges school leaders faced in their roles, seizing on the research launch to announce an $8 million health and wellbeing strategy to support principals of state schools.

She said development of the strategy had been informed by extensive consultation over the past 12 months including with the report researchers and about 800 principals.

Ms Grace said that under the strategy, a range of actions would be implemented to optimise principals’ time to lead, provide tailored support services, promote safety and respect in school communities, and invest in capability.

“We are investing in proactive health and wellbeing coaching, expanding programs to help principals to manage stress and build resilience, piloting a principal support hotline, and monitoring and addressing workload concerns through the recently established Workload Advisory Council,” she said.

Business

A parliamentary committee will examine whether Industry Super and ME Bank are providing their customers with adequate support during the coronavirus pandemic.

Smarter Shopping

Money experts have revealed the simple ways Australians can save big bucks on everything from household bills and shopping, to health and entertainment.

Health

Not all patients experience a flu-like illness when hit with COVID-19, with some experiencing paralysis and others left with brain problems and organ failure.

Lifestyle

As many of us come out of lockdown restrictions, we’ve come up with a whole new set of slang we are using in everyday conversation. See how many words you know.

Opinion

At first glance you could assume that Jackie Trad standing down was a chaotic win for Deb Frecklington and the opposition. But it could have election ramifications for…

News

Uninvited teens accused of boozing it up and swimming in the pool of a suburban unit block have been called out for flouting social distancing restrictions.

News

Check out 40 of the best photos and mouthwatering dishes from previous Eat Local Week events.

Community

Families, students and businesses in the Lockyer Valley will benefit from new and…

Politics

Labor Left loses some influences in Qld Cabinet reshuffle

Education

Coronavirus Qld: Boarding students ‘in limbo’ with school return

© The Queensland Times Pty Limited 2020. Unauthorised reproduction is prohibited under the laws of Australia and by international treaty.

Source: https://www.qt.com.au/news/how-parents-are-making-principals-lives-hell/4012765/

World news – AU – How parents are making principals’ lives hell

Laisser un commentaire