One in four primary schools still has no male teachers

Male primary teacher The education secretary says male teachers are needed as role models

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One in four primary schools in England still has no male registered teacher, statistics show.

General Teaching Council for England figures show a slight improvement on last year, with 27.2% schools with no male teachers, down from 27.8%.

There are just 48 male teachers in state nurseries.

Education Secretary Michael Gove said more male teachers were needed but they were put off by worries that teacher-pupil contact was a "legal minefield".

In total, women make up three-quarters of registered teachers - which includes all state school teachers and also teachers in the independent sector who choose to register with the GTCE.

Only 12% of primary school teachers are male, compared with 38% of secondary school teachers - with the proportions virtually unchanged since last year.

However, the proportion of men entering the profession has risen slightly, with men making up 25.6% of newly qualified teachers, up from 24% last year.

The overall pattern is similar in Wales, with figures published in August showing that about a quarter of all teachers are male, but the proportion of men entering the profession is rising slightly.

In Scotland only 8% of primary school teachers are male, while about 15% are male in Northern Ireland.

'Strength and sensitivity'

GTCE chief executive Alan Meyrick said the figures "suggest little change in the long term imbalance" between men and women in the profession.

But he said women remained under-represented in senior management roles.

According to Department for Education figures, 32% of men working in nursery and primary schools are in senior management, compared with 16% of women.

In a speech on Tuesday, Mr Gove said more male teachers were needed, especially in primary schools "to provide children who often lack male role models at home with male authority figures who can display both strength and sensitivity".

"One of the principal concerns that men considering teaching feel is the worry that they will fall foul of rules which make normal contact between adults and children a legal minefield," he said.

He said the government had clarified rules regarding contact between teachers and pupils.

Mr Gove said a "troops to teachers" programme, to be launched later this year, would "ensure that there are many more male role models entering teaching".

Former military personnel will be offered bursaries for teacher training and a fast-track route if they lack degree-level qualifications.

The GTCE figures also show the profession getting younger, with the number of teachers aged between 50 and 59 falling by 8% in the past five years.

Reliable ethnicity data for the whole profession is not available, but 9% of newly qualified teachers were from non-white backgrounds.

This is down slightly on last year, but up from 5% in 2002, the GTCE said.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 18.

    After failing to gain get on a pgce, i've worked hard to gain a large quantity of experience before applying again. Although it is great to get more males into teaching, offering grants to ex-military personel & 'fast-tracking' would mean that some may chose the route for the wrong reasons & why shouldnt I get the same access to bursaries, am i not enough of a man bcos i havnt been in the army?

  • rate this

    Comment number 17.

    There are no male staff at all in my grandsons primary school, even the caretake (sorry building manager) is female. How on earth can schools live up to 'in loco parentis' with no males in evidence from the ages of 4/5 to 11 years. A sad reflection on society where male teachers avoid primary schools. In my school years all he schools I attended had both male and female teachers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 16.

    Curiously no suggestion of a pay rise - Bankers, apparently, have to earn LOADS, otherwise they will go somewhere else.

  • rate this

    Comment number 15.

    So now we're allowed to talk about differences between men and women???????

  • rate this

    Comment number 14.

    1. "One of the principal concerns that men considering teaching feel is the worry that they will fall foul of rules which make normal contact between adults and children a legal minefield"

    Need we say more?

  • rate this

    Comment number 13.

    as a parent helper I was shocked that of 57 staff in my daughters infants only one was male,the boys are constantly "feminised" and their natural instincts are suppressed no wonder the "turn off" to school.

    oh and all the male helpers needed crb's to walk the kids while the females didn't, kind of sums up the matriarchal system of primary education

  • rate this

    Comment number 12.

    When I was doing my own teacher training, 12 years ago, there were only about 105 males among the students on my primary PGCE course, and those were all from the Irish Republic. Recently, working in a rural primary school, of the male student teachers we've had on practice, all but one have been Irish. Is there a different attitude in Ireland to men working in primary schools?

  • rate this

    Comment number 11.

    Even in today's modern 'metro-sexual' society there is still a deeply ingrained machoism that pours scorn on a man if he decides to do something seen to be a more feminine pursuit. If I told people I wanted to play netball over rugby the vast majority (male and female) would smerk and make jibes at me. It's the same affect if a man says he wants to be a primary school teacher.

  • rate this

    Comment number 10.

    The paucity of male teachers has a lot to do with the image of teaching. Earlier men went on to become teachers out of conviction. Today men take up professions because of its image and remain mostly unsatisfied. I think teaching should be respected as a profession and men should interest themselves for a job which shapes not only the future of their students, but also theirs.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.

    My husband gave up a well-paid job and got us into student debt 2 years ago to become a primary school teacher. He completed his NQT year last year with glowing reports, yet there was no permanent job at the end of it, and the workload is unbelievable (especially in comparison to the pay). Guess what? He's back in his old job. It's education's loss.

  • rate this

    Comment number 8.

    My sister in law trained as a primary school teacher and told me there was one male trainee in her college class who was subject to a lot of whispering behind his back; "why's he here?"; "what are his real motives?", etc. Perhaps this kind of attitude put lots of men off going into jobs where they will be working with children.

  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    Mr Gove might like to consider how relatively little teachers get paid for doing a frequently stressful, high pressure job (even after many years service) when thinking about disincentives for men to enter the profession. I reckon he'll find this is a far bigger factor than his so-called 'legal minefield of teacher-pupil contact'.

  • rate this

    Comment number 6.

    They don't make it easy to be a male primary school teacher. When I finished University I tried to get work experience at local schools and only one school responded to my request and they could only offer a few hours. You need four weeks classroom experience before doing the primary education course and if no where will let a man do that then how can men get into the profession?

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    The problem is that men who work with young children are assumed to be paedophiles. The above statistics are unlikely to change until that stereotypical view changes.

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    So, there aren't enough male teachers in Primary schools. My husband, recent PGCE, ex- industry & loads of enthusiasm, has no job for next week. He has applied to eighteen schools and had three interviews but no offers. There is tremendous competition for jobs and there are too many Primary teachers being trained and left unemployed. Mr Gove should read the threads about it in the TES!

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    I have taught for over 30 years. The "troops to teachers" idea catches headlines but displays a breathtaking lack of overall direction.
    Appealing to "red top" newspapers is a long way from a thought through policy.
    Parties do run out of ideas and need to be replaced. The hope is always that the incoming government has spent sometime in intelligent thought before they come to power.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    As a Male, you can't even walk in the park without people looking at you suspiciously as it seems that in UK society every male is an unproven pedophile, in education, even the slightest allegation results in instant suspension and often the teacher is named and reputation destroyed. Until a common sense approach to this, there is no way for a man to feel comfortable around children unsupervised

  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    As a male primary school teacher who has just finished his year's training and begins next week as an NQT, I look around me and see a paucity of male teaching staff. Primary teaching is (wrongly) seen as a profession demanding 'female' traits.We need an entire change in society's view of teaching and its intrinsic value in order to see a move towards a closer balance of male and female teachers.


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