HomeAustralia'Vicious parents', students target NSW principals in record numbers

‘Vicious parents’, students target NSW principals in record numbers

The survey defined physical violence as exposure to violence in the workplace.

“One of the other areas that we have been concerned about is the increase in the amount of verbal and abusive behavior that has increased in parent and caregiver communities,” Kidson said.

“Parents are the adults in the room. We should be waiting for those children, are we really setting our children up for the inability to resolve conflict successfully, other than by being abusive?

The Vice President of the NSW Secondary Board of Directors, Denise Lofts.

NSW Secondary Heads Council vice-president Denise Lofts said parents had become more demanding when it came to their children’s education and were more likely to be aggressive towards school staff.

“Schools want to be welcoming places…but some of my colleagues have been the victims of really vicious parents, who have attacked them personally,” Lofts said.

She said female directors were also more likely than their male counterparts to be on the bottom of parental attacks on social media.


“We are disproportionately targeted… It takes the form of smears on public bulletin boards, it could be a poll calling to fire the director on change.org, or the creation of negative Facebook pages,” Lofts said.

This year, 55 per cent of NSW managers received a ‘red flag’ after completing the survey, meaning their answers meant they were perceived to be suffering from health problems due to work stress or, in a small number of cases, at risk of self-harm.

Nationwide, the biggest source of stress in school leaders’ jobs was the heavy workload and lack of time to focus on teaching, followed by teacher shortages.


When it came to concerns about their students, 93 percent of school leaders were concerned about anxiety levels in students, 72 percent were concerned about school rejection, and 47 percent were concerned about students. with depression.

There were 15 key recommendations, including for employers to introduce wellness priorities for directors.

A spokesman for the NSW Department of Education said schools did not tolerate violence and anti-social behaviour.

“We work closely with NSW Police to crack down on anyone who assaults school staff. Principals are important and invaluable members of local communities and must be treated with respect,” the spokesperson said.

“When incidents of this nature occur, managers are provided with immediate and expert support to manage the incident, including a focus on responding to violence and anti-social behaviour. We have a number of programs and resources to support the well-being of principals.”

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