According to the BBC, a report funded by the Department for Education (DfE) has suggested that men are not only increasing their presence in the education sector, but are doing so at five times the rate of women.
Changes focused on Primary Schools
The results of the report, carried out by The Teaching Agency (TTA), indicated that the greatest change had developed within primary schools. Lin Hinnigan, Interim Chief Executive of TTA, said “primary teaching is increasingly a career for the most able graduates. It offers the opportunity to earn a good salary and progress quickly.”
The findings contrast with the last report conducted by the TTA’s predecessor, the General Teaching Council (GTC). In 2011 they declared that one in four primary schools in Great Britain had no male teachers, something which the Education Secretary Michael Gove argued was the result of the “legal minefield” that existed between teacher-pupil relations.
Men still vastly outnumbered by women
Yet, according to the TTA’s report, 3,743 males entered teacher training in 2011/12 as compared to just 2,467 in 2008/9. One of the potential causes of the surge is the paid basis of Employment-Based Initial Teacher Training (EBITT) which enables trainees to earn a sustained salary rather than having to pay higher student loans at university.
Nonetheless, the gains are being made from an extremely low base, with only 25,500 men teaching young children, compared with 139,500 women, according to DfE statistics. As a result, 1 in 4 primary schools in England have no male registered teachers – something that Ms Hinnigan is keen to address:
“Our aim in joining forces with talented male teachers from primary schools across England is to show the reality of life in a classroom and why there’s never been a better time to join the profession.”
Teacher Support Network comments
Commenting on the figures in the report, Julian Stanley, CEO of TSN, suggested that whilst the gains we have seen are of course most welcome, it is clear that more must be done to “keep teachers teaching” and encourage our male population into this most valued and essential profession.