Training and Development Agency (TDA) of England

Male primary school teachers are vital role models for boys, new research suggests.

Almost half of men say that a male teacher has been a fundamental role model in their life, a survey commissioned by the Training and Development Agency (TDA) found.

The poll of more than 800 men looked at the impact of male primary teachers in boys’ development. It found that more than a third (35%) felt that having a male primary teacher challenged them to work harder at school.

Those questioned also said that male teachers were more approachable. Half (50%) were more likely to approach a male teacher about bullying, a similar proportion (49%) were more likely to approach them about problems with school work, 29% went to them with problems at home and 24% were more likely to ask them questions about puberty.

The survey was commissioned to tie in with a new TDA campaign urging men to consider teaching.

Potential primary teacher trainees have less than nine weeks left to apply for postgraduate training courses next year.

Figures recently released by the General Teaching Council for England show that men currently account for just 13% of registered primary school teachers.

And data published by the Higher Education Statistics Agency last week showed a widening gulf between the numbers of men and women gaining teaching qualifications from higher education institutions.

In 2006-07, men accounted for less than a quarter of teaching qualifications obtained, the statistics revealed.

The ICM survey questioned 1,032 men between September 19 and 21. Of those 837 had a male teacher when they were at primary school.