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Australian principals optimistic despite the demands

It’s perhaps never been harder to be a school principal, or assistant or deputy principal.

In an age of high-stakes tests, crowded curricula, increased resourcing demands and seemingly unending administrative requirements, principals across the country are feeling the pinch. In fact, according to the 2018 Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Well-being Survey, one in three school leaders are seriously distressed.

In trying to keep their heads above the proverbial water, more than half of the 2365 participants surveyed were working 56 hours a week – far too much to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

At a time when 70 per cent of school principals are approaching retirement, such statistics are troubling indeed. It might seem surprising, then, that most principals are still incredibly optimistic about the current state of education and the future. A recent report by education workforce research and analytics company PeopleBench found that Australian principals are still remarkably positive.

Education Review spoke to the company’s chief research and insights officer, Mike Hennessy, about this surprising result as well as other issues occupying the minds of Australian principals.

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