Queensland principals less bullied than other states: study

A REPORT into school principals' health and safety has found principals in Queensland experience less bullying and fewer threats than those in any other state.

But the Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey found principals in regional cities were treated worse than metropolitan or rural principals.

The study said fewer Queensland principals were being bullied or threatened than any other state and only South Australia had fewer principals experience physical violence.

The Australian Catholic University survey included 2621 principals and 1024 assistant principals from schools across the country.

But the report found nationally principals in large towns were more likely to experience threats, bullying, physical violence, quarrels and slander than in metropolitan, rural or remote schools.

Report author ACU associate professor Philip Riley said the stresses of running a school took a toll on principals.

"The high emotional demands these school leaders face, together with a lack of systemic support and training means we see higher levels of burnout and stress. Worryingly, it is also taking a toll on their greatest support group: their families. Work-family conflict occurs at approximately double the rate of the general population," he said.

"What is encouraging, however, is that despite the obstacles they face they are generally positive about their job and still report high levels of job satisfaction."

Queensland Teachers Union president Kevin Bates said improving principal wellbeing remained vital.

"There is still an issue in terms of the wellbeing of principals," he said.

"Principal wellbeing has to be at the centre of decision making. If a leader in a school is suffering it can affect the whole school."


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