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Jason Clare Flags National Action On School Leader Wellbeing


Canberra, April 3 2024



Education Minister Jason Clare has committed to urgent action to support the occupational, health, safety and wellbeing of Australia's school leaders, in response to alarming new research.


Speaking at the ASPA 2024 National Education Summit, Minister Clare said that he would put the issue of sustaining and retaining school principals on the agenda for the next Education Ministers' Meeting. 


The commitment follows the recent release of the latest Australian Principal Occupational Health, Safety and Wellbeing Survey, which found that more than half of the nation's school leaders are considering quitting or retiring early due to stress, and increasingly unsustainable workloads.


Australian Secondary Principals' Association (ASPA) President Andy Mison welcomed the Minister's commitment as an important step.


"We have been sounding the alarm on this issue for over a decade now, so it is very pleasing to see it finally getting the attention it deserves at a national level," Mr Mison said. “our school leaders are highly resilient, and do the job because they love it, and want the best for our kids. We can’t take that for granted.”


ASPA is proposing a range of practical measures to be considered under the new priority area, including:


  • Ongoing monitoring of principals' health and wellbeing

  • A review of workloads and administrative responsibilities

  • Investment in the administrative staff and systems in our schools

  • Stronger powers for principals to respond to violence and unsafe behaviour

  • Tailored training and development programs

  • Appropriate remuneration frameworks that reflect the complexity of the role

  • Quaranting funds from other agencies such as Health and Community Services to support school communities


Minister Clare indicated the issue would be raised with state and territory counterparts on the agenda at an upcoming Education Ministers' Meeting, with a view to incorporating such strategies into the next National School Reform Agreement.


The National Education Summit brought together education stakeholders from across the country to tackle issues including school funding and the equity gap in Australian Schools, and the future of secondary education.  Along with discussions on sustaining and retaining school leaders, there was strong support and hope for successful negotiations expressed for fully funding public schools; for an ongoing nationally funded school infrastructure fund; and for the introduction of measures and reporting on social segregation in and between schools.



Media enquiries: Andy Mison 0400202088


About ASPA:

The Australian Secondary Principals Association (ASPA) is the national peak body representing government secondary school leaders in every Australian state and territory.

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