AEU welcomes funding to address principal workload

The Australian Education Union in Victoria welcomes the Andrews Government’s $51 million funding commitment to further address principal workload and wellbeing.  Many school principals spend more than 50 percent of their time on administration and compliance and work more than 65 hours a week.

“The leadership and governance responsibilities that fall to principals are complex and significant,” said Meredith Peace, president of the Australian Education Union Victorian branch.

“Principals are given responsibilities not dissimilar to CEOs without the support and resources they need to manage competing demands and an ever increasing volume of work.

“Management of budgets, governance responsibilities, increasing parent expectations, staffing pressures, departmental requirements and accountabilities, increasingly complex learning environments and more complex student wellbeing issues, impact of student access to social media – all these compounding complexities and the volume of work means many school principals cannot dedicate the time they want to educational leadership.

“It is imperative that principals have the time to work with their staff and lead the teaching and learning work in our schools so we can deliver high quality education to our students.

“For many years now research has shown the demands of school leadership are having a detrimental impact on principal wellbeing.  Our principals are resilient and capable professionals, but they are not superhuman.

“It can be a lonely job.  When experienced principals suffer burnout and leave the profession, schools and students end up missing out. There is a need to reduce the volume or work required of principals as well as supporting their health and wellbeing.

“We have been calling for dedicated funding to further address principal workload.  This funding announcement extends the new initiatives supporting principal health and wellbeing and reduces the work required of principals for compliance with Occupational Health and Safety standards.  It is a welcome acknowledgement of the need to address the pressures principals in our schools face every day,” said Ms Peace.

Media Contact: Jessica Kendall 0414 679 857

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