A worrying trend of increasing stress, workload and verbal and physical assaults faced by school principals has been revealed in the seventh annual Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey.
The 2017 report, carried out by the Australian Catholic University, found principals experience stress at a rate 1.7 times higher than the general population.
They experience burnout 1.6 times higher, depressive symptoms 1.3 times higher and problems sleeping 2.2 times higher than the general population.
Forty-four per cent of principals reported receiving verbal threats of violence, predominantly from parents and students; 34% reported being victims of bullying (by parents predominantly) and 36% reported being the victims of physical violence (by students predominantly).
These statistics are up on the 2016 report. Since its inception in 2011, 5580 principals from all school sectors have participated.