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Stress and burnout no way to teach a nation

Monday, 27 March 2006

Turner: Stress and burnout no way to teach a nation

Keep our principals healthy and working, says Judy Turner, United Future's education spokesperson.

She's responding to Principals' Federation president Pat Newman who says that stress is the major problem for principals, causing turnover of principals of between a quarter and a third each year.

Mrs Turner says "The 2005 Woolf Fisher Scholar and Principal of Manurewa Central School, Laurie Thew, found that the role of principals has never been more important but the myriad of expectations they face is causing difficulties.

"Few other CEOs must be responsible for property, staff recruitment and retention, finance, community liaison, student welfare, health and safety as well as student learning.

"Questions must be asked of how much time principals spend daily satisfying compliance issues and whether the Government should invest more in managerial staff to release principals so they can focus on governance.

"Another part of the problem is the tension inherent between increasing school autonomy and increasing school accountability.

"The feeling among principals is that they are under siege.

"One of Laurie Thew's recommendations is that we need to recognise and support the key role of principals, instead of continual criticism.

"Principals need our help, not our hectoring," says Mrs Turner.


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