08 Jun There is a huge shortage of male primary teachers
According to the official Department for Education (DfE) figures, in the last academic year a huge 85% of the teachers working in primary schools and nurseries were female. In fact at the majority of schools with 9 or fewer full-time equivalent (FTE) members of the teaching staff, there wasn’t a single male teacher.
This is a huge imbalance and shows that a lot more needs to be done to encourage males to consider a career at this level of teaching. This is a really big challenge though and will require a change in attitudes.
It is thought the reason for the imbalance is that males view primary and nursery teaching roles as more suited to females due to the requirements for nurturing. Sadly the lack of male teachers is a vicious cycle because the low numbers result in fewer boys considering seeing themselves in the role. This is generally down to a lack of role models.
The imbalance can have a big impact. Perhaps surprisingly students learn differently depending on the gender of the teacher. The lack of males can leave boys without the positive male presence they need to develop. It can also make it difficult for the students to learn the communication skills they need to approach teachers of both genders. These are vital skills they will need in secondary school and further education.
Although no proven direct link exists, there are some that believe the fact that girls continue to outperform boys at KS2 could be linked to the lack of male primary teachers. Perhaps the lack of a male teacher affects how readily boys are to ask for help.
So, what can be done to improve the situation? Firstly it needs to be demonstrated that males have a vital role to play at primary and nursery levels. More research about the potential impact on student success should also be looked at. Importantly it is crucial that more be done to show that this level of teaching is not gender specific.
At Moore Teachers we work to provide the highest quality teaching staff for primary schools, this includes helping both males and females find positions. We have grown to become one of the very best for providing primary teachers Epping Forest has, setting high standards and consistently achieving them.
If you would like to find out more about working with us or primary teaching in general, please get in touch.