According to the latest yearly report on the well-being of Australian principals provides a sobering picture of harassment, violence, burnout, and mental health concerns. More than 2,000 Australian principals participated in the 2019 survey.
More than 40% of principals reported being a victim of physical violence in 2019 compared to 27.3% in 2011. Threats of violence toward principals have increased from 37.8% in 2011 to 51.0% in 2019.
Parents are the main offenders of threats, bullying, sexual harassment, conflicts, and gossip. Students were responsible for most actual instances of physical violence. These included hitting principals during a meltdown or throwing broken glass.
According to the survey, most school principals had been subjected to two or more types of offensive behavior in the last 12 months. Over the last nine years of our surveys, a growing percentage of school principals have been exposed to behaviors such as bullying, physical violence, gossip and slander, sexual harassment, threats of violence, and verbal harassment.
In the 2019 survey, principals said they experienced levels of burnout, stress, and sleep difficulties that were all at least 1.6 times higher than the general population.
The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the massive amount of responsibility and strain endured by Australia's educational staff. Principals were responsible for keeping schools open (or in the case of private schools, making the call to close them). They were also responsible for everybody adhering to social distancing guidelines to keep staff and students safe.