Recently SafetyAtWorkBlog reported on stress issues in Tasmanian teachers. Victorian data has been revealed of stress in the education profession through The Age newspaperr on 6 July 2010. Apparently stress claims for school principals have cost $A2.4 million since 2005.
One principal said the claims are likely to be under-reported as a stress claim can kill one’s career.
For the purposes of this blog, control measures or causes need to be identified. The Age article said that principals have asked the Education Department to consider the following issues. It is reasonable to assume that these have been identified by the principals as contributory factors to workplace stress.
The Principals complained of:
- increased paperwork
- increased departmental demands
- decreased disciplinary options for unruly students.
If these are the main issues, school principals share stressors with retail workers who face unruly and angry customers. Departmental demands are increasing throughout the public service as corporate governance issues gain prominence and, as for paperwork, join the queue.
All areas of business are demanding more proof of decisions, actions and assessments and paperwork will continue to increase. It is important that some of the gains in workplace flexibility do not get eaten up in paperwork catchup. Perhaps some occupations and jobs need to be redesigned to cope with increased demands in compliance and reporting. Or perhaps, we should just begin to refuse additional paperwork, with a strong justification – health and wellbeing.