School principals say rising administration burden is affecting teaching and learning for students

National Association of Principals and Deputies poll finds 64% of school leaders report stress or burnout

Secondary school principals say a growing administrative burden is having a “massive impact” on the time which should be spent leading teaching and learning in school.

The issue is top of the agenda at the National Association of Principals and Deputies (NAPD) annual conference which takes place in Galway this week.

A survey conducted by the association has found that a large majority (73 per cent) of principals and deputies say they spend too much time on administrative duties such as finance, procurement, HR, health and safety, facilities management and other tasks.

Some 64 per cent of school leaders reported stress or burnout because of administrative overload.


NAPD president Shane Foley said it was students suffer most when the majority of time is taken up by administrative duties:

“While these administrative tasks are crucial for the running of and the financial stability of schools, they too often take priority over what is actually important which is engaging with and offering support to our students, their parents and the whole school community,” he said.

“It also concerns me greatly to hear of the effect this administrative overload is having on colleagues personally in that so many are reporting signs of stress or burnout.

He said the association will use its annual conference to call on the Minister for Education Norma Foley to immediately establish a “school’s administrative officer” post to ease the burden on principals.

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien

Carl O'Brien is Education Editor of The Irish Times. He was previously chief reporter and social affairs correspondent