Push to cut turnover of principals

DECREASING the number of principal classifications from six to four could result in less turnover in regional schools, according to a Tasmanian teachers' union.

It was revealed at the weekend that a number of Northern regional schools were experiencing a high turnover of principals but it is understood to be a statewide issue.

Bracknell Primary School has had five principals in 18 months, Beaconsfield had eight in 13 years until a contract was signed in the past year, Exeter has had four in five years, Meander three in 10 years and Westbury four in five years, according to the Education Department.

Some educators have sought a review of the public service laws that govern the state's principals to slow the constant movement.

Australian Education Union state president Terry Polglase said yesterday because of the state's classification level that ranked principals from one to six, there was a desire to work your way up the ladder quickly and smaller, regional schools bore the brunt of it.

He said the classifications dropped from eight levels to six at the start of the year and dropping it again may see some principals happy to stay longer at the smaller, regional schools.

This could be coupled with some kind of financial incentive, such as $10,000 for a principal who completes two years in the one location, he said.

Mr Polglase said a similar financial incentive scheme was introduced at the start of this year, with any principals taking up new positions in hard-to-fill schools being paid more than their city counterparts.

He said it was still to be seen if this would slow the turnover.

Education Department deputy secretary corporate services Andrew Finch said the reduction in principal classifications from eight to six was approved by the Industrial Commission in January.

He said the three-year agreement was reviewed in September and he was not aware of any discussions to reduce the number of classification levels further.

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