“A ship without a rudder is a problem", so principal well-being will be a top priority for the year ahead, says Principals Australia Institute (PAI) CEO, Jim Davies.
Initiatives such as the principal certification program and the national principal well-being workshop are just a couple of morale-boosting resources that will soon become available to principals.
Having already been trialled in secondary schools in 2014, the national principal well-being workshop will be rolled out nationwide this year.
Davies said that many principals who participated in the trials later felt that they were better able to reflect on their professional development as a result of the workshops.
“The message we got back from principals was that they felt they got the opportunity to reflect on their professional development and best practice,” Davies told The Educator.
When asked about how he sees the workshops improving principal well-being, Davies provided an insight into some of the resources that will be included.
“Part of the process will involve a resource pack, which will essentially help ‘train the trainer’.”
“Helping others is a major role of a school principal, but there is also of course a clear focus on looking after our principals,” Davies said, adding "a ship without a rudder is a problem."
As for the challenges that principals expect in 2015, Davies was cautiously optimistic.
“The challenges this year are really no different from that of previous years, but a prominent one is how principals can improve the quality of teaching in their schools,” Davies explained.
“The message that comes back most often is that finding the space in time to do that is quite difficult due to a raft of management issues.”
In January, Kings Park Primary School principal, Doug Conway, called the department "negligent" in its duty of care towards its principals.
"I think the department is negligent in its duty of care towards its principals," Conway said.
However, Davies is confident that 2015 will be a year in which principals find that they have the training and development resources they need to be effective leaders.