Belfast Telegraph

Rising numbers of men are signing up to become primary school teachers, official figures show.

But the data, published by the Teaching Agency, also shows there has been a fall in the number of trainee maths teachers.

One in five of those on primary teacher training courses this year were male – about 4,100 men in total, according to the latest figures.

Two years ago, about 18% were men (3,470 in total), the data shows.

The rise comes amid continuing concerns that there are not enough men in the profession, and young children do not have enough male role models.

The Teaching Agency’s annual census looks at trainee teacher recruitment and the qualifications these trainees hold.

The findings show that 2,500 people were recruited to train as maths teachers this year – just short of the Department of Education’s (DfE) target of 2,636.

This is also down on 2010/11, when there were 2,760 trainee maths teachers.

The census also shows that whilst the DfE’s target on English teachers has been met, fewer people are signing up to teach this core subject. In total, there were 2,240 English trainee teachers this year, down from 2,490 in 2010/11. The Government’s target for this year was 2,010.

Ministers have announced that new bursaries of up to £20,000 are available next year for people with top degrees to become teachers in subjects like science and modern foreign languages.