by Samantha Maiden - Sunday Herald Sun

The survey shows teachers believe little is being done to address the performance gap between girls and boys.

The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal the findings of the latest Staff in Australia Schools survey, which asked more than 15,000 teachers and principals about their working conditions.

The report found fewer than one in five primary school teachers is male, with the number of female teachers rising in the 2010 survey to 81 per cent.

But men are far more likely to rise through the ranks to become principals in high schools, holding 61 per cent of leadership positions.

The survey also showed principals want more power to sack underperforming teachers, with a majority saying they feel hamstrung.

While private school principals have revealed much higher levels of authority to review teachers’ performance and recruit staff, public school principals warn they are lagging behind.

Concerns over a lack of power to hire and fire teachers was highest among principals at public high schools, where 54 per cent were unhappy with the rules.

Releasing the report today, federal Education Minister Peter Garrett said the findings underlined the Government’s push to boost principals’ and parents’ power to run schools.