The Principal Workload and Time Use Study, which was prepared by Deloitte on behalf of the NSW Department of Education, was released late last year. The study was prompted by emerging evidence suggesting that the NSW government school community was increasingly concerned about principal workload.
Keep reading or scroll down to hear some personal stories from our community about the positive impact of principals.
The findings will probably not come as a surprise to anyone working in schools. Here are a few key statistics:
- Based on observations, principals on average undertook 45 activities during a school day, with 28 of these activities being unique.
- 75% of principals reported their workload is ‘difficult to achieve’ or ‘not at all achievable’.
- 77% of principals reported their workload is ‘difficult to sustain’ or ‘not at all sustainable’.
- Principal time is spent as: 30% on leading teaching and learning, 9% on developing self and others, 6% on leading improvement, innovation and change, 40% on leading the management of the school, 11% on engaging and working with the community, and 3% on other activities.
In this context, the following stories seem even more extraordinary. I’m sure many of you have seen the story of Krystal Stanley, the dynamic Principal of a small outback school in Queensland driving her students to school. However this is far from an isolated case of principals going the extra mile for their community.
When School Stream asked for stories about school principals who made a difference in the lives of their school community, we were overwhelmed by the response. Here are a few examples that highlight the significant impact of principals in the lives of students, business managers and parents.
From a six-year old Primary School Student in Melbourne’s North West:
“After my mum died the school principal drove me to school every day for six months”.
From a Business Manager in the Goldfields region of Victoria:
“Great school principals recognise their best assets – not funding nor buildings and grounds, but their people. I worked in a run-down 1800’s school with peeling walls, terrible facilities and jaded staff BUT with a Principal of vision, commitment and energy who galvanised those who shared his passion and left behind those who didn’t (in spite of his efforts to bring them on the journey.) The school became a state leader in curriculum and renewed facilities. The Principal was a true communicator.”
From the parent of a child at school in the Brisbane:
“Our school Principal is always in the playground at drop off and pick up time. Every single day. It might not sound that profound, but knowing I can talk to him if I have any issues is such a relief. And somehow, he remembers everybody’s name.”
If the stories we heard are any indication, it would seem an inclination towards going above and beyond is not uncommon among school principals, wherever they may be based.
It’s a busy time of year for schools and we hope Principals, Teachers, Business Managers, Administration teams and all those who keep schools thriving are looking toward a relaxing and restorative summer holiday. You deserve it.