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Source: New Zealand Education Institute (NZEI)

New research shows teacher and principal health and wellbeing much worse than general population

27 May 2021

Results from NZEI Te Riu Roa’s 2020 Health and Wellbeing Survey show that workload related stress for both principals and teachers is at a level far exceeding the general population.

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Liam Rutherford says the results are unsurprising and reiterate the urgent need for more staffing resource in the sector.

Almost half of the teachers surveyed work more than 50 hours a week. Seventy percent of principals work more than 50 hours a week and one in five work more than 60. These workloads puts both groups at high risk of experiencing adverse psychological and physical health outcomes.  

“Teachers want the best for every student in their class. However, we are seeing an increasing number of students with complex needs and there is insufficient support and staffing to meet these needs,” says Sarah Gladding, a teacher based in Taranaki.

“Not only are teachers responsible for ensuring that the learning needs of our students are met but more so than ever we support their social and emotional needs as well.

“Extra staffing in our schools would mean we’d have more time to plan lessons, complete assessments and research how best to support the wide range of abilities within our classes. With more support we would have more time to focus on each of our students, giving them the education they deserve.

“When teachers and principals are overworked this ultimately impacts on tamariki and their learning environment. Our independent staffing review, Pūaotanga is released next month and will detail the true extent of the staffing issues in our education system and will inform our steps moving forward,” Rutherford says.

Read the full teacher report

Read the full principal report