Primary Principals Hauora Survey Report

The success of any group always relies heavily on the strength of the leadership. Our primary principals are taking on that crucial role in our schools, ensuring that staff, students and parents all get what they need from the school.

That's a big job, and many principals across the country do this job behind closed doors. It's essential, important work and it's not without it's challenges. This research report sheds some light on how our principals are faring and how the job is affecting their wellbeing.

Check out some of the key findings below or download and read the full report here:

NZEI - Rangikura School. Generic photoshoot for 'stock' library images. Photo copyright Mark Coote for NZEI.

Big Work Weeks

Our schools have a lot of moving parts. That means there's always going to be more work to do than hours in the day. This rings true in the survey with more than 70% of principals reporting work weeks of 50 hours or more.

More than 50 hours per week
More than 55 hours per week
More than 60 hours per week

The Demands of the Job

Principals take on a lot of responsibility in their school and their community which can be a demanding position to be in. In fact, compared with the general population in Aotearoa, the job of a principal was more likely to be fast-paced, emotionally demanding and come with a heavy workload.

Experienced having to deal with emotional demands
Compared with 57.5% for the wider population
Experienced having to work at a fast pace
Compared with 38.5% for the wider population
Experienced heavy workloads (quantitative demands)
Compared with 56.3% for the wider population

Self-rated Health and Wellbeing

Just as important as how you're performing is how you're feeling - and the numbers for principals have some room for improvement. Principals self-reported a lower estimation of their overall health and a higher estimation of their level of burnout than the general population.

Primary school leaders self-rated health

NZ Working Population

Primary school leaders burnout

NZ working population
Sheer quantity of work
Lack of time to focus on teaching & learning
Resourcing needs

Sources of Stress

Every job has it's stressors and principals are no different. Amongst others, three key sources of stress for principals emerged as the sheer quantity of work, the lack of time to focus on teaching and learning and the resourcing needs of the school. 

Support Networks

Stressful jobs naturally lead us to look for support from those around us. The vast majority of principals report that this support comes from a spouse, partner or friend in the first instance. This means that the pressure they're feeling is following them home and affecting other parts of their lives. 

Spouse or Partner
Colleague in workplace

Do you think our principals deserve better?

Join us as we work towards a better education sector. Let's get the resources and support that our principals need to lead our schools, our communities and our future. 

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