Skip to main content

The wellbeing of school leaders and staff is critical for student success according to Professor Donna Cross in a ground-breaking report commissioned under Independent Schools Queensland’s (ISQs) Our Schools – Our Future initiative which is designed to promote informed public policy debate.

Behavioural scientist Professor Cross and co-author Sarah Falconer of the Telethon Kids Institute present an evidence-based perspective on what promotes or erodes school staff wellbeing which is one of the first in Australia to make the links to student wellbeing.

School Leaders’ and Staff Wellbeing is Critical for Student Success research report offers some practical evidence-based actions and makes five wellbeing recommendations:

  1. Prioritising the school community’s wellbeing and ensuring improvements are contextual, sustain evidence-based practice, focus on relationships, and underpin the whole-school culture.
  2. Enabling and sustaining supportive leadership practices that build teacher wellbeing.
  3. Providing effective induction and mentoring, and meaningful professional learning that is sustained and authentic.
  4. Tracking wellbeing priorities and progress to benchmark, monitor and effectively meet the wellbeing strengths and needs of the school community.
  5. Advocating for government policy reform addressing staff workload, resourcing, and safety. Specifically, at a broader system level, the following actions are needed to positively impact school leader and staff wellbeing:
    • Identify and address drivers of workload intensification.
    • Facilitate equitable access to trained mental health professionals in all Australian schools to respond to the increasing complexity of student behaviour and mental health and wellbeing difficulties.
    • Use policy reform to protect school leaders and staff from the impact of aggressive and other offensive behaviour directed at them.

Read the report

Back to top