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School leaders were asked to indicate how frequently they experienced challenges regarding their well-being in their job as school leader. They could respond with ‘Never’, ‘Rarely’, ‘Sometimes’, or ‘Often’.

Students with school leaders experiencing well-being challenges

Table SLT3.5 shows the number of students under the leadership of a school leader who is either ‘Sometimes’ or ‘Often’ experiencing well-being challenges in their role.

In Small Island States, on average, 87% of students attended schools where school leaders ‘Often’ or ‘Sometimes’ experienced stress working as a school leader, and 68% of students attended schools with school leaders who ‘Often’ or ‘Sometimes’ felt overwhelmed by their job. Most students are in schools where school leaders report that they are stressed or overwhelmed.

On average, six out of ten students attended schools where school leaders ‘Often’ or ‘Sometimes’ had difficulty sleeping because of their job (62%). Also, about four out of ten students attended schools where school leaders did not have time for their personal lives (44%), to eat healthily (36%), or to exercise (38%) because of their job.

Also, on average, more than one out of three students had school leaders who felt their job negatively affected their mental health (44%) and physical health (36%) either ‘Often’ or ‘Sometimes’.

What does this mean?

Large proportions of students in the region have school leaders who frequently experience stress and poor well-being because of their job.

Other job-related well-being challenges are common for school leaders. The results suggest that many school leaders do not have time to take care of themselves due to their jobs. Of more concern is the finding that more than one out of three students have a school leader whose physical and mental health is being negatively affected by their job. The implication is that school leaders are sustained by a sense of purpose (see school leader pride and job satisfaction) or, in the absence of this, are at risk of disengagement with their job.