Overworked principals in the United States may take solace that they’re not alone. Three-quarters of elementary school principals in Ireland who responded to a recent survey said they were either “overloaded” or “seriously overloaded” by the demands of the job.
Carried out by the Irish Primary Principals’ Network, an association with about 5,500 members, the poll shows school leaders drowning in a sea of paperwork, constant interruptions, and innumerable noninstructional matters.
Read the major findings from the “IPPN Survey on Principals Workload 2004” online.
“Principals are not primarily screaming about overload, they’re screaming about overload that takes them away from what they should be doing,” said Séan Cottrell, the national director of the group, based in the town of Glounthaune, outside of Cork. “Principals want to be instructional leaders. They want to be transformational leaders.”
About 850 principals took part in the online survey. More than one principal said he would “hand back the keys in the morning,” if he could.
The group is using the results to press for changes from the national government agency in Dublin that oversees school policy.
Coverage of cultural understanding and international issues in education is supported in part by the Atlantic Philanthropies.
A version of this article appeared in the March 16, 2005 edition of Education Week