Principals fear for mental health of students and teachers

 

Principals are stressed about the long-term mental health impacts the coronavirus pandemic has had on teachers and students, with urgent calls for extra resources to address the growing issue.

A new survey conducted by Pivot Professional Learning and the Coalition of Australian Principals of 456 school leaders has revealed the detrimental impact of COVID-19 on schools, with 80 per cent saying teachers' mental health had been negatively impacted.

A similar number reported a negative effect on their students' mental health.

One Queensland deputy principal said striking up conversations with staff about their mental health challenges could be difficult, and "often the problem with staff well-being is that we can see that they are struggling mentally, but they cannot".

Principals are stressed about the long-term mental health impacts on their staff and students due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey has revealed.
Principals are stressed about the long-term mental health impacts on their staff and students due to the coronavirus pandemic, a new survey has revealed.

More than 97 per cent of principals also reported an increase in workload as a direct result of the pandemic.

Pivot chief executive Amanda Bickerstaff said it was clear the pandemic had increased teachers' "workloads, stress levels and expectations".

"Teaching is a massive undertaking even in the best of circumstances," she said.

"It is imperative that schools and systems prioritise teacher well-being through increased staffing, well-being initiatives and better training and resources for online teaching."

Other principals also expressed distress that remote learning had revealed the real struggles of some families, with access into their homes like never before.

One Queensland state school principal said "COVID-19 has amplified their poverty and distress" and they had realised "just how many families are suffering financially and emotionally".

Originally published as Principals fear for mental health of students and teachers


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