GRAMPIANS principals are facing mounting pressures as support from the Department of Education wanes.
An Australian Education Union survey of principals at state schools in the Grampians found that 94.4 per cent were worried about their workload, compared with 76.5 per cent across the state.
More than half said they were also worried about their stress levels.
The Department of Education has reduced the number of regional offices from nine to four.
All 35 Grampians principals who responded to the survey said they had less support from the region offices during the past year.
Horsham West and Haven Primary School principal Brendan Bush said limited funding was his biggest concern.
“The challenge is that we have limited resources to meet the needs of all our students,” he said.
“We are continually having to prioritise our expenditure and some lucky students receive needed resources while others miss out.
“For me, the promise of the Gonski review hasn’t delivered all we’d hoped because our budgets are much the same for next year.
“Governments are stretched at the moment and they aren’t able to do what they had hoped.”
Stawell College principal Colin Axup said statewide changes to how education was delivered had created uncertainty.
“My main concern is that we are going through a period of transition and with that always comes a degree of uncertainty,” he said.
“The most topical change at the moment is around teacher and principal performance and, while change can cause uncertainty, I think the intent of increasing teacher performance is positive.
“Being in a rural area, getting access to professional development is difficult because we have to travel long distances.”
The union’s Victorian branch president, Meredith Peace, said schools were forced to do more with less State Government funding.
“Principals feel like they have been totally abandoned,” she said.
“Cuts to education by this State Government over the past three years have had a devastating impact on students and schools across the state.
“The flow-on effects of a stretched principal upon the school community, staff and students cannot be underestimated.”