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Principal Well Being Update - CaSPA Principals experience different areas of stress to Principals in other sectors

Posted on 13 July 2017
Principal Well Being Update - CaSPA Principals experience different areas of stress to Principals in other sectors

CaSPA is indebted to CCI - one of its National Partners - for their support in helping us all to better understand how we can assist Principals with their Health and Well Being.  As sponsors of the National Principal Health and Well Being Study being undertaken by Philip Riley of ACU, they have also been looking at data within this study that relates specifically at Principals in Catholic Schools as opposed to the findings of the broader study which includes both Principals and Senior Leaders of schools in all sectors - Government, Independent and Catholic.

Further to this, we understand that around 18% of principals from CaSPA schools have completed the survey, so this data may not necessarily apply in its entirety to the majority of CaSPA Principals.

With this in mind, we note in the July 2017 Report prepared by CCI, that there are some key points of distinction between Catholic Principals who have completed the survey and those in the other spheres of school leadership who have participated in the Survey:

How do the survey results of Catholic school leaders compare to the results of the full Australian Principals Health & Wellbeing Survey?

  • As a source of stress, Catholic principals report 'expectations of their employer' lower than other school sectors.
  • They also report the 'support they receive from their department/employer' higher than other school sectors.
  • In fact, Catholic principals reported increased sources of support across the board in 2016, bucking the trend of other school sectors.
  • Catholic principals also report higher job satisfaction than the full principals survey group.
  • As a source of stress, Catholic secondary principals rated 'stress from mental health issues of staff' lower than other school sectors.
  • However, both primary and secondary Catholic principals rated
    • 'stress from union/industrial disputes',
    • complaints management' and also
    • 'interpersonal  conflict' higher than other school sectors.
  • Pleasingly, Catholic school principals report significantly lower levels of 'threats of violence' and 'actual physical violence' than other school sectors.

We understand that CCI will be making the full report to those in the Catholic sector in the near future.

Naturally CaSPA will continue to work closely with CCI in looking at ways of assisting principals to manage the key stressors that have been identified as impacting on the lives of CaSPA Principals.

We have also been notified that the 2017 survey will available for completion in the near future.  We have passed on in the past to those undertaking the research that the length of the survey and the time taken to complete may be a significant factor in the relatively low return rate by CaSPA principals

Tags: wellbeing
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