Just 1% more than last year of new primary school teachers are men, according to data from the Department of Education, the Telegraph reports.
Research by Nottingham Trent and Bedfordshire universities found that many men were put off working with young children because it was seen as a ‘woman’s profession’, coupled with fears that they will be falsely labelled as paedophiles.
But the DfE insists that the number of men entering primary teaching is at a record high, even though they represent only 21% of students accepted for primary training courses this year. The increase is due to reforms allowing students to train directly in schools, with 25% of new entrants on the School Direct scheme being men, rising to 28% among older trainees.
Charlie Taylor, chief executive of the National College for Teaching and Leadership, commented: “It is encouraging to see a rise in the number of men training to be primary school teachers. This is being driven by School Direct – where schools are given the power to choose their own trainees, heads are increasingly choosing men, many of them career changers.”
The DfE data also shows that record numbers of well-qualified students are choosing to become teachers. The number of students with good degrees had risen by 3% in 12 months and almost three-quarters of primary and secondary school trainees have a first-class or 2.1 honours degree.
Does it really matter that so few primary teachers are still men? If you’re a male primary teacher, what’s it like being outnumbered by female colleagues? Share your experiences with us!