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 58.

    I'm not surprised at this statistic. My husband is a volunteer with Riding for the Disabled - we used to run a group - and he always has to ask permission before moving a child's position in the saddle, or even help them onto the horse. At the same time, the current group values his contribution simply because most of the boys interract better with a male helper. Stop demonising men!

  • rate this

    Comment number 57.

    What planet are these people on ! 5 yrs ago - shortage in teacher, masses train only to find over 1/2 cant get teaching jobs, now they want more male primary teachers. how about they concentrate on getting jobs to the thousands without posts. its like 'we need black officers' why to tick another box. will this government stop being a tick box party and just do the job

  • rate this

    Comment number 56.

    Another problem for males in primary is the pay. I am a primary school teacher but would be earning quite a lot more if I worked in a secondary school. I receive 'outstanding' grades each time I am observed but may have to move into secondary education soon so as to earn more money to support my family. Pay differential between primary and secondary is a key issue that needs to be addressed.

  • rate this

    Comment number 55.

    Eh? The principle view shared by my male friends who have considered teaching as a career option is that they would not touch it with a barge pole out of fear of having their entire lives ruined by malicious accusations of one sort or another. Its just too risky.

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 53.


    Yes it turns out the school got it wrong , by accident no doubt. I got a totally different story from the junior school my daughter will be starting Monday. They couldn't do enough to get me through the door as male helpers are as rare as hens teeth so they say.
    P.s Yes i have a clean record

  • rate this

    Comment number 52.

    Why? men are too macho to do what has naturally been seen as a woman's job

  • rate this

    Comment number 51.

    I think the film Kindergarten Cop showed us that even the most masculine of men can make good teachers.

    "Who is your daddy, and what does he do!?"

  • rate this

    Comment number 50.

    Interesting thought - Is there a correlation here between ratio of male to female teachers and the widening of the gap between male and female pupil's exam results reported to us recently?

  • rate this

    Comment number 49.

    Oh, and as for troops to teachers scheme. This ideas gets talked about every few years, usually as an idea to combat the lack of discipline in secondary schools.
    I have never seen it come to anything.
    Think about it, would ex-military personnel really WANT to work in schools, and actually have the right skills to work with children?

  • rate this

    Comment number 48.

    In my experience (as a male primary teacher) we are worse at discipline that the experienced female teachers! The best PERSON for the job is precisely that!
    Why are ex-troops suddenly able to reinvent themselves as teachers, irrespective of qualifications? Not long ago the ConDems were on about minimum degree standards for PGCE entry. I hope they're not just making it up as they go along...

  • rate this

    Comment number 47.

    As a male primary teacher with 9 years experience, this is no surprise to me.
    Yes, it is a legal minefield. Daily, I am faced with inequalities about what my female colleagues can do and I can't. Simple things like tending to an injured child for example. They cuddle the child to comfort them - I wouldn't dare, not because it is wrong, or I would feel guilty. It is simple self preservation!

  • rate this

    Comment number 46.

    Primary schools have become like single parent families. One is better than none but not as balanced as having both.

  • rate this

    Comment number 45.

    As a male nursery nurse, back when I did my final year of training, I wrote my final assignment on men in childcare. At that time, the figure suggested 4% of teachers in primaries were male; I'd say a rise to 12% in 13 or 14 years isn't too bad. However, while equal opps is a fine thing; jobs should be given to those most qualified, and you can't force people into a job if they don't want to do it

  • rate this

    Comment number 44.

    I have been a male primary school teacher for over 6 years. I agree that there needs to be more men in primary school teaching to display a male role model for children, but this cannot be at the expense of outstanding female teachers! I spent 5 years being the only male teacher in my school!

  • rate this

    Comment number 43.

    Perhaps the lack of male teachers / role models in primary school is one of the reasons there's a shortage of kids - of either gender - taking up science or engineering. Feminised as opposed to feminist teaching and example is bad for everyone.

  • rate this

    Comment number 42.

    Does it really matter? Surely its the quality if the teaching that counts.

  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    this is an appaling article and i am disgusted at it

    shame on you BBC for your utter utter bias

    "Only 12% of primary school teachers are male" THIS IS 8:1 in WOMENS FAVOUR


    "women remained under-represented in senior management roles. 32% of men working in nursery and primary schools are in senior management, compared with 16% of women. THIS IS FALSE : FACT 4:1 in WOMENS FAVOUR

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    What happened to the idea that all teachers should be graduates? I seem to remember the Prime Minister and others preaching this as an aspiring policy shortly after the last election. Or is this a scheme to find work for recently sacked soldiers and airmen?

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    In a society that has been whipped into a frenzy of paedo-paranoia by the more salacious parts of our media, the sad truth is that not only are men fearful of being accused of child abuse by a disgruntled parent/pupil but in reality such accusations are common enough to deter most males from the profession


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