Professor Phil Riley: The School Leader’s Challenge

Andrea ChesterLeave a Comment

School principals are pivotal to the effective management of schools, a crucial role in society. They promote and build the capability of staff and students through support, guidance, direction and vision, in a maelstrom of societal expectations, ideological conflicts, micro- and macro-political pressures, and on-going funding uncertainties. And, far too often at great personal cost.

In this presentation, Professor Phil Riley presents an overview of nine years of principal health and wellbeing research, across four countries, with over 10,000 leaders participating. Many principals report having a significant moral purpose which sustains them. Yet, it is clear that the most pressing issue facing school leaders is moral stress, triggered by accountability demands. The “sheer quantity of work” and “lack of time to focus on teaching and learning” have consistently been reported as the two key stressors. Worse still, this has been steadily increasing for nearly a decade. Moral stress is quite demotivating.

The presentation concludes with some recent positive responses to these research findings, addressing some aspects of moral stress and some exciting possibilities to harness and accelerate these changes into the future.

Key information

Date and time: Thursday 3 October 2019, 6–7.30pm
Location: Deakin Downtown, Tower 2, Level 12, 727 Collins St
Register here

With thanks to Juliana for passing this on.


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