Headteachers 'overworked'

29-09-2006

Headteachers of primary, secondary and special schools in the UK are suffering under a burden of government-imposed red tape, according to new research into their mental health.

A study conducted by Keele University for the National Association of Headteachers (NAHT) found that during the last 12 months 80 per cent of school leaders had seen their workload increase, compared to 54.2 per cent of equivalent management roles in other professions.

Time management and forward planning are creating problems for headteachers, the survey shows, causing them to spend more time working when they are ill than other professionals.

The NAHT said it believes that if the current workloads continue, numbers and quality of teachers being promoted to senior management levels could create future recruitment problems.

Responding to the research from Keele University, Mick Brookes, the NAHT's general secretary, said that "excessive bureaucracy on school leaders' workload" was "getting steadily worse".

"Strategies need to be developed which enable all staff within schools to achieve a
reasonable work life balance," he urged.

"Schools are entitled to run themselves as independent entities, with as little regulation and bureaucracy as possible."

Keele University's Centre for Industrial Relations questioned 688 heads, deputy heads and assistant heads, along with 1,031 management professions from other sectors in the course of its research.


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