Social support for principals: experiences in NSW primary schools

Amber Gorrell*, John De Nobile, Iain Hay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The wellbeing and workload of school principals has been an issue of escalating prominence both in Australia and internationally. This qualitative study investigated the social support received by primary school principals in New South Wales, Australia and how this may influence their wellbeing. Social support has been demonstrated to have positive effects on the wellbeing of principals in general terms. However, limited research has been completed in regard to how principals experience social support from their staff. This study explored upward support as a means to improve principal wellbeing. Eight primary school principals participated in semi-structured interviews to examine their experiences of this phenomenon. The findings reveal how principals receive social support, suggest how social support can promote wellbeing, and highlight the types of support of most benefit. Support from staff members was identified as an important contributor to wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18-36
Number of pages19
JournalLeading and managing
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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