Workload Wednesday

School leader workload

The 2017 Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey was the sixth annual survey showing steadily increasing pressures on school principals and deputies.

The survey highlighted the increasing complexity of school leaders' role, the stresses placed on principals working not only as educational leaders but also having to take on increasing administrative loads, and the unacceptable levels of offensive behaviour, bullying and violence being inflicted on school leaders.

Workload reduction is a key focus for the QTU. The QTU/DET Joint Statement on the Purpose and Use of Data in Queensland Schools has put the brakes on “data for data’s sake” that adds to workload, without providing educational benefit. The QTU is also working to push back against the further demands made on principals as a result of political decisions and inadequate guarantees about resourcing.

The QTU understands that occupational violence is a complex issue and continues to advocate for a strong occupational violence policy with the department. Beyond the range of strategies that can reduce the risk of occupational violence in schools, the QTU position is clear: being subjected to intimidation, harassment and other forms of violence is not part of the job. Where a parent or student continues to access a school after physically abusing a member of staff, QTU members should consider holding a meeting to request a QTU directive to not interact with the parent until the parent behaves in accordance with the school’s code of behaviour.

School leaders can contact the QTU for advice or assistance, we recommend emailing qtu@qtu.asn.au or contacting the Queensland Teachers’ Assist Desk on 1300 117 823.

Uploaded 28 February 2018