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Findings from a survey of principals in primary and secondary schools across Australia reveal school leaders are highly stressed and doubt whether they are well equipped to implement the broad suite of policy changes, reports The Age. Only 47 per cent agree with the current national reform agenda.
The massive scale of the changes is worrying principals already struggling with heavy workloads, according to the national survey of 1600 principals from government and non-government schools, conducted for Principals Australia, a non-profit organisation that represents principals in the government, Catholic and independent school sectors.
The Gillard government's multibillion-dollar education overhaul aims to lift student performance with measures that improve accountability and tuition quality.
Teachers and principals across Australia will for the first time be accredited against uniform standards, which set out levels of skill and knowledge that they will be expected to reach.
The reform program also includes the introduction of a national curriculum, national assessment and reporting of student results through the MySchool website, the school funding review, digital upgrades, teacher reward payments and a large injection of funds for disadvantaged schools.
Liz Furler, the Principals Australia's chief executive officer, says: "It's clear from our research that people hear about the bits and pieces of the national education reform agenda, they agree with some bits and disagree with others," she says.
"But they don't understand how all it all fits together and what is the outcome we can expect after five years of reform that governments have committed themselves to.
"The 47 per cent level of endorsement for the agenda suggests there is more to do to understand what it is that is concerning principals."
Principals only lukewarm on reforms (The Age)
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