Thursday, 4 December 2014

Premiers Reading Challenge

Those children who successfully completed the Premier's Reading Challenge were taken down to Collins Book Shop today to get a 'prize' for their achievement. 
They chose a book for themselves and a picture story book for the school. They also chose some new Christmas books. One of my students has been reading graphic novels this year and it has greatly improved his reading so we went to Heroes Inc in Ballarat and he bought a Superman graphic novel for the school and a Green Lantern one for himself. 

Violence Against Principals

The number of principals being threatened with violence by parents has risen by a third in the past 12 months, a nationwide survey has found.

A quarter of principals reported receiving threats from angry parents, up from 19 per cent in 2013, and a quarter also said they had been physically abused, mostly by children.

The Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey Report, produced by the Australian Catholic University and the Teachers Health Fund, showed a cultural shift in Australia, its author said.,

"Society is changing, we don't trust our institutions like we used to," Associate Professor Philip Riley said.

The survey, in its fourth year, has tracked a rise in principal abuse, but this year is "worse than ever", Professor Riley said.

Mont Albert Primary School principal Sharon Saitlik, who sits on the board of the Victorian Principals Association, said reports from her colleagues were harrowing.

One principal had to obtain a restraining order against a parent over a dispute on religious education, she said.

Another principal was abused by a group of parents after punishing their children over, ironically, a schoolyard bullying incident.

Others report systematic abuse on social media, she said.

I know of many principals around Ballarat who have been threatened and intimidated.

The survey also found that "burnout" among principals was double the rest of the population, while threats of abuse were seven times those faced by the average worker.

Professor Riley made four recommendations in the report, including introducing policies for professional support, increasing professional development in skills for the emotional aspect of the role, reviewing work practices and resource shortages, and to establish an independent authority to tackle bullying and violence.

The lack of support from a deleted region is a disgraceful situation which will hopefully be addressed by the new government.

"It's not going to be a quick fix. It's a deeply entrenched problem that will take some serious consideration," he said.

The survey, of 3675 principals and assistant principals from primary and secondary, independent, Catholic and government schools, also saw an increase of on average five hours a week extra work.

Almost half of the respondents worked between 46 and 60 hours per week, and a quarter worked more than that.

Mont Albert Primary School's Ms Saitlik said succession planning was a concern among principals. Junior staff saw the workload as well as pressure from parents and administrative requirements as an unattractive career choice, she said.

She also questioned her own ability to see out her career.

"I'm in my mid-40s. Am I going to be able to sustain what I'm doing now for the next 20-30 years?" she said.

Ms Saitlik said she felt "privileged" to work in a supportive community, but was concerned that she was in the minority.

Story from The Age 

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