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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  • Comment number 78.

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

  • rate this

    Comment number 77.

    3 Hours ago
    Guess what? He's back in his old job. It's education's loss.

    He's not the only one Ledmo - the number of male teachers at all levels has been in decline for years. I know several guys who qualified as teachers (some with very good assessments) who could not find a full-time teaching job. Problem is middle aged male managers in schools recruiting young female staff.

  • rate this

    Comment number 76.

    Primary school children should have proper role model in their lives (rather than footballers and celebs) but given the minefield adult contact with children has become it is hardly surprising that few men are willing to take the job. It only takes one vindictive parent or child and the man is out of a job and made unemployable for life. It's a hard enough job without that pressure.

  • rate this

    Comment number 75.

    And Nursing, Childminding, working at any major retailer, Social work, Physiotherapy, Careers Advice, Secondary Teaching, Health Visiting, Beauty Salons, Hairdressing - why stop at Primary Teaching?

  • rate this

    Comment number 74.

    I love it when the shoe is on the other foot women moan about finding it hard to progress in certain occupations, but when men say the same the reactions are all defensive e.g. Manchester Lizard, Lorientaise.

  • rate this

    Comment number 73.

    Perhaps positive discrimination is in order if a better balance is seen to be desirable. Given the apparent danger to reputation of this profession to men perhaps it could be described as "danger money".

  • rate this

    Comment number 72.

    I'll bet the few male teachers there are get far more pay than their female counterparts. Isn't that right feminists?

  • rate this

    Comment number 71.

    I seem to be quite alone in the opinion that, as a male If I wanted to be a teacher, whispers and sneers behind my back would not put me off doing it - if i truely wanted to be a teacher I would be, My first answer to anyone questioning motives on that kind of degrading basis would be a strongly worded "Grow up". I'm inclined to agree with 23. Lorientaise - if you want to be a teacher - Work Hard!

  • rate this

    Comment number 70.

    Many valid points have been made. As a male primary teacher I have found that children do respond positively to a male teacher - it has given me kudos since day 1. But in reality I actually think that generally females possess the skills required more regularly, such as being ultra organised, artistic, multi tasking, not to mention a love of children. Many men I know have not been able to hack it!

  • rate this

    Comment number 69.

    My husband wanted to retrain as a primary teacher but couldn't get a place on the PGCE course although he had all the other qualifications and experience needed.

    Also men are immediately labled as suspect if they come anywhere near a child. My children don't come anywhere near a male teacher or NTA until the two years of primary which is a great shame as many boys don't have any male role model.

  • rate this

    Comment number 68.

    I am a male primary teacher and have been for the past seven years following a career change from engineering. I absolutely love my job. However, I can totally understand why others wouldn't want to do it. Low pay (compared to industry), high workload (don't believe the 9 to 3 myth), risk of malicious accusations, no respect from society etc. You have to REALLY want to do this job!

  • rate this

    Comment number 67.

    I am a male who has just finished his teacher training, I feel getting a teaching job is more about who you know rather than what you know and that goes for both male and female teachers.

  • rate this

    Comment number 66.

    Gove has already done more damage to education in Britain than anyone since Kenneth Baker. His "troops to teachers" scheme is a farce, the skills are not the same at all. He should teach in a school (not private) for a half-term, then he'd change his tune.
    As for gender, the best teacher is the best teacher, regardless of sex. know - I did the job for 34 years.

  • rate this

    Comment number 65.


    After thousands of years of males dominating women, now that women are free, it is revenge time. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction.

    I don't blame women, they are only human.

  • rate this

    Comment number 64.

    When I was training to be an English teacher [secondary] the tutors said that the male trainees would have no problem getting a job because of the relative lack of male English teachers. Schools fell over themselves to recruit the male student teachers....I never completed my training for personal reasons but I do wonder whether some of these males got jobs on merit or because they were male...

  • rate this

    Comment number 63.

    After running out of caharacters in my last comment - my employer took on dozens of ex-RAF staff in the utility industry. Most faired badly. These people struggled to think independently and constantly sought instruction. Even after completing successful training, if they were not given direct instructions they simply did nothing. Teaching need free thought to encourage creativity.Mr Gove is naive

  • rate this

    Comment number 62.

    I qualified as a primary teacher this summer and was amazed how many males were on my course. I did a GTP and when I went for my initial interview I expected to be one of very few males there but the numbers were just about 50/50. I work in an independent school where there are roughly equal numbers of male/female staff in the junior department but no males at all in the infant dept.

  • rate this

    Comment number 61.

    My kids' primary has no male teachers. I do not see this as a problem their father is at home.They have balanced male/female influences. I would not know how this affects single parent families as mine isn't one. As for ex-military, I can only go on personal experience within my company. We employed ex-RAF. The majority faired badly is they struggled to operate without instruction.A bad idea.

  • rate this

    Comment number 60.

    #43.rheinmadchen "female = humanities, male = science?"

    I can remember many excellent female scientists from my university days so I do not agree with your generalised assertion concerning the subject/gender of teachers - well it may be true today, but it wasn't in my day! An excellent, if somewhat eccentric, fluid mechanics lecturer comes to mind.

  • rate this

    Comment number 59.

    The gutter-press has for many years campaigned to persuade everyone that any man who likes being with children must be a pervert.

    This is the inevitable result of that tabloid paranoia.


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