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Almost a third of Gloucestershire primaries have no male teachers

By Ben_Falconer  |  Posted: November 15, 2012

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NEARLY a third of Gloucestershire's primary schools have no male teachers statistics show.

Latest figures published by the Department for Education reveal that 75 out of the county's 241 primaries (31 per cent) do not have any full-time qualified teachers who are men.

And there were a further three schools where fewer than 10 per cent of the teaching staff were male.

Education Secretary Michael Gove has previously said more male teachers were needed to provide positive role models to youngsters, but they were put off by worries that the adult-child contact was a "legal minefield".

He said the Government had clarified rules regarding contact between teachers and pupils.

And a "troops to teachers" programme, which aims to bring former service personnel into the classroom, would see more men entering teaching.

This is where former military personnel are offered bursaries for teacher training and a fast-track route if they lack degree-level qualifications.

The Department for Education say the number of applications from men to become teachers has risen, with a 50 per cent increase in male primary trainees last year.

The Secretary of State said last year more male teachers were needed, particularly in primary schools "to provide children who often lack male role models at home with male authority figures who can display both strength and sensitivity".

But he acknowledged a major concern among men was "that they will fall foul of rules which make normal contact between adults and children a legal minefield".

A DfE spokesman said: "We want more men to consider primary teaching.

"Applications from men have already risen, with 50 per cent more male primary trainees in 2011/2012.

"We're encouraging men to apply for training places by holding events where they can speak to teaching experts and other trainees.

"Up to 1,000 high quality male graduates will take part this year in a new school experience programme which will boost numbers further."

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  • bonzaharris1  |  November 15 2012, 10:40PM

    Does it really matter ? Surely its teaching skills that matter, more than the gender of the teacher. Also, while trying not to sound sexist, perhaps the female of the species has a gentler touch for children of that age group. Or perhaps male teachers would rather teach older children, less crying to deal with. Not sure what this obsession with statistics is all about. The best people for the job is what matters, and like or not, most young children would feel more comfortable with a female teacher to turn to, a sort of surrogate mum. Men do not generally have the same tender touch with young children, and has been pointed out by Tutor, would be to frightened to, in case of having accusations thrown at them !!

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  • ShorterNews  |  November 15 2012, 7:35PM

    Doesn't the statistic also imply that two thirds of primary schools DO have male teachers? When does the statistical balance become newsworthy? My kids' primary school has a few male teachers, but I'm not sure of the relevance. Surely a school should hire the most qualified candidates regardless of gender. I'm far more concerned about the ease with which some people become teachers. I've had more intelligent conversation from supermarket checkout operatives.

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  • geraint2010  |  November 15 2012, 2:12PM

    'Nail on head' there Tutor, even if you do sound like Grantly Budgen from Waterloo Road!

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  • Tutor  |  November 15 2012, 1:09PM

    Why would your average male graduate want to work in a primary school? There is still an ongoing view amongst many that men shouldn't want to work with younger children. This is ridiculous and very short-sighted. And the adult-child contact issue being a 'legal minefield' is shocking. A professional is a professional regardless of gender. When I worked in primary schools it was frowned upon if I even touched a young child that had fallen in the playground and was very upset. Female colleagues however administered cuddles etc. Is this right? And don't get me started on working with neurotic, menopausal, middle-aged females. Men, it's wrong, but you might just be better off considering a different career.

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