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Principals and teachers are "stressed and losing morale"

Study shows principals and teachers are stressed and losing morale

5 May 2014
Immediate Release

NZCER research released today shows that teachers and principals still love their jobs, but the significant increase in stress and drop in morale should be a wake-up call to the government.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Judith Nowotarski said principals’ and teachers’ stress and frustration was a result of the hostile environment that the government has deliberately imposed on schools in the past few years.

“This government has tried to create a ‘crisis’ atmosphere in schools to justify its agenda that includes National Standards, charter schools and a competitive, business approach to education,” she said.

“They’re trying to blame teachers for children not reaching their potential when poverty is the real cause. Meanwhile, schools are trying to do more with less; only 11 per cent of principals think their school’s operational funding is adequate.

“The government plans to spend $359 million on new management roles for teachers and principals, without asking educators what would be best for students.”

Principal morale has dropped 15% since 2010 while teacher morale has dropped from 86 per cent to 74 per cent. Nearly half ( 48 per cent) of principals reported high or very high stress levels, up from 37 per cent in 2010.

Ms Nowotarski said the fact that 92 per cent of principals and 94 per cent of teachers still enjoyed their jobs showed their passion for teaching despite the pressures.

“It is also significant that nine out of ten parents report being happy with their child’s education. Just three per cent of parents are not satisfied. Satisfaction levels are especially high in decile 1 and 2 schools. That shows how hard-working and dedicated the teachers are in some our most vulnerable communities,” she said.

Ends

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