By Jenni Marsh - Express UK

The number of men training to be primary school teachers has increased by more than 50 per cent over the past four years in England, new figures reveal.

The growth rate is five times that for women, according to data from the Teaching Agency.

Interim chief executive Lin Hinnigan said: “Primary teaching is increasingly a career for the most able graduates.

“It offers the opportunity to earn a good salary and progress quickly.”

Teachers are twice as likely to win promotion after three-and-a-half years than graduates in comparable professions, according to the TA.

The organisation is offering male graduates the chance to contact male teachers to find out more about the role.

Ms Hinnigan added: “Our aim is to show why there’s never been a better time to join the profession.”

Darren McCann, promoted to deputy head of a primary school in Astley, Greater Manchester, after teaching for seven years, said:

“Initially I thought I would want to be a doctor or a lawyer.

“This all changed after I visited a school for work experience.

“A career in teaching shot to the top of my list. There are great opportunities for progression.”

Former quantity surveyor Stephen Hill, 40, a primary school teacher for 15 years, is a deputy head in Oldham, Greater Manchester.

He said: “I had never thought of teaching as a profession when I was at school.

“There was a bit of a stigma around it for men.

“But after three years in the building trade, I was disillusioned.

“Teaching is an extremely rewarding job. Every day is different.

“You get to inspire these young people to be the best they can be and when their parents tell you what a difference you have made it’s great. The financial rewards are comparable to any other graduate job.

“Men bring different skills to a classroom and every pupil should have had one male teacher before leaving primary school.