Victorian schools have a shortage of principals. And it’s because of helicopter parents.


With school principals at a high risk of burnout and depression as a result of increasing workplace stress, it comes as no surprise that Victorian schools are facing a serious shortage of principals.

According to a new report by Henrietta Cook in The Age, 115 out of 1531 Victorian state school principals exited their jobs in 2018.

But it’s not just workplace stress and demands pushing principals out of the profession.

According to The Age, violence in schools and helicopter parents are increasingly driving principals out of the top job.

One anonymous principal told The Age that he was forced to retire three years earlier than anticipated due to the pressure of dealing with helicopter parents.

“Some believe that they know what is best not only for the child but for the entire school,” he told the publication.

“One of my biggest issues is the way parents have almost unfettered ability to make life difficult for staff and principals.”

The increasing pressures have also had a serious impact on the hiring process in schools, with some job openings for principals reportedly receiving no applications.


Side note – If you’ve ever been tempted to spy on your kids, this episode will scare you off helicopter parenting for good. Post continues below…

It’s not just Victoria facing a shortage of principals however.

Principals all across Australia are struggling to deal with the increasing pressures of the role.

In 2017, a survey found that one in five school principals is overwhelmed by workplace stress.

The Principal Health and Wellbeing Survey found that almost half of the respondents faced threats of violence in the workplace.

Out of 2,800 principals, deputies and assistant principals across Australia, one in three respondents had also faced actual violence at work.

The survey also found that more than 50 per cent of all principals are working more than 56 hours a week while 27 per cent are working up to 65 hours.

The research also showed that principals are experiencing workplace demands 1.5 times higher than the general population, making them more susceptible to higher levels of burnout, depression and difficulty sleeping.