Principal health and wellbeing

News; Innovation

​​Leadership is second only to classroom teaching in its impact on student learning and achievement. Self-care is important for our school leaders: their health and wellbeing is not a ‘nice to have’. It’s an essential element of powerful leadership.

Though principals report significantly higher job satisfaction than the general population, they also report significantly higher levels of stress. This can have a long-term impact on their effectiveness as leaders, and on their personal lives. 

Bastow’s Principal Health and Wellbeing​ workshop aims to help principals and assistant principals minimise the negative impacts some aspects of their roles may have on their overall health and wellbeing.

The 2.5-day workshop is evidence-based and was developed with advice from Distinguished Professor Viviane Robinson. ‘It’s a practical and personalised experience,’ says learning designer Dr Daniel Arifin.

‘This is not about standard resilience or coping strategies. It’s about supporting our principals to be the most effective leaders they can be. They are incredibly busy, and it’s important that their time investment pays off.’

The workshop engages deeply with each participant’s individual situation and motivating beliefs. Participants then develop and implement an alternative action plan, with a dual focus on better health and wellbeing and direct benefits for their schools.

Peer feedback and support is an essential element of the work, and the response from pilot participants has been overwhelmingly positive. ‘It supports the feeling that we are not alone in managing our schools,’ says one participant.

The benefits of improving health and wellbeing are personal, but also have significance at a system level.

‘One of the most satisfying things about this workshop is that it acknowledges the major stresses that principals face. It provides some validation for principals to start making changes for themselves that can have a positive effect across their communities.’

Registrations are open until 25 July. For details, see Bastow's Principal Health and Wellbeing​.