There's a warning that a shortage of secondary school principals is "rapidly approaching", as new research shows school leaders are facing significant levels of stress.
A study by the Association for Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) indicates that not even one in three secondary school principals or deputy principals predict they will be in a school leadership role in five years' time.
The survey of 266 school leaders found that many are working up to 60 hours a week.
It found that 48% of principals and deputy principals experience “a lot” of stress, 39% experience moderate stress, and a further 13% cite a little stress.
According to the results, the most stressful responsibilities are managing employee relations, new teacher and substitute teacher appointments, and financial management.
According to the NAPD, principals' wellbeing tends to increase year-on-year - but it plummets after they have been in the same role for ten years.
Paul Byrne, the Deputy Director of the NAPD, said being a principal is a complex role that involves a "huge amount of administration" on top of management and leadership responsibilities.
Warning about a potential shortage of principals in the future, he said: "At the moment there are less and less applicants when a principal's job is advertised.
"We're looking at something that is rapidly approaching."
Mr Byrne suggested that one "continuous professional development" in areas such as time management and people management could help principals manage the workload.
However, he said significant administrative support would be a major help for all school leaders.
He explained: "If it was possible, [you could have a PA] for a principal... who would deal with a lot of the administrative work.
"By removing the administrative burden, you would free up more time for principals to do the core business of their job: leading teaching and learning in the schools."