Use this URL to cite or link to this record in EThOS:
Title: Headteacher stress, coping strategies and supports : implications for an emotional health and well-being programme for Headteachers
Author: Howard, Martin Luke
Awarding Body: University of Manchester
Current Institution: University of Manchester
Date of Award: 2012
Availability of Full Text:
Access from EThOS:
Access from Institution:
There have been a number of studies investigating stress in the education sector with findings indicating that teachers experience high levels of work related stress (Travers, 1996; Johnson, et al, 2005). While there has been limited research looking specifically at the prevalence and causes of stress among Headteachers, recent studies have indicated that they also experience high levels of work related stress (Philips et al, 2007; French & Daniels, 2009). This study was carried out as a contribution to, and to update, the body of research data on Headteacher work related stress. Research aims were to identify and measure sources of stress experienced by Headteachers in a large West Midlands Local Authority, to identify the coping strategies/supports that they drew upon, or the additional ones that they would find useful. An aim was also to use the research findings to inform the development of a Local Authority Emotional Health and Well-being Programme for Headteachers. The study adopted a mixed method research design, using quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis approaches. Data sources included focus group activity, a postal stress audit questionnaire and semi-structured critical incident interviews. Findings included 45% of Primary and 54% of Secondary Headteachers reporting that they generally found their jobs very or extremely stressful. The six month period prior to the stress audit survey (audit carried out in October/November 2010) was reported as having been even more stressful. Both Primary and Secondary Headteachers reported the top three sources of stress as being the volume of paperwork, the cumulative effect of the number of tasks that have to be accomplished and Ofsted/HMI inspections. Findings also indicated that Primary and Secondary Headteachers had a generally positive attitude towards their organisation, and perceived themselves as being positively regarded by their organisations. High commitment therefore operated in both directions. The physical and psychological well-being of Secondary Headteachers was in line with comparable managerial and professional norms. While the psychological well-being of Primary Headteachers was also in line with comparable norms, reported physical health was slightly inferior, although still technically within the ‘normal’ range. The strategies/supports drawn upon were in line with previous research findings (Swaffield, 2008) and included fellow Headteachers, Unions and Local Authority support officers. In relation to a job satisfaction rating, 84% of Primary Headteachers and 69% of Secondary Headteachers reported being satisfied with their job ‘most of the time’. A further 30% of Primary Headteachers and 23% of Secondary Headteachers, reported being satisfied with their job ‘about half of the time’. Findings are discussed in relation to some of the significant changes taking place within the educational sector and in relation to the implications that they have for a Headteacher well-being programme and for the practice of educational psychology.
Supervisor: Woods, Kevin; Squires, Garry Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ed.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available