British men just aren’t teaching. From the BBC:
One in four primary schools in England still has no male registered teacher, statistics show.
General Teaching Council for England figures show a slight improvement on last year, with 27.2% schools with no male teachers, down from 27.8%.
There are just 48 male teachers in state nurseries.
Education Secretary Michael Gove said more male teachers were needed but they were put off by worries that teacher-pupil contact was a “legal minefield”.
In total, women make up three-quarters of registered teachers—which includes all state school teachers and also teachers in the independent sector who choose to register with the GTCE.
Only 12% of primary school teachers are male, compared with 38% of secondary school teachers—with the proportions virtually unchanged since last year.
However, the proportion of men entering the profession has risen slightly, with men making up 25.6% of newly qualified teachers, up from 24% last year.
Teaching, especially pre-teen children, has always been a predominantly female field, so I’m not sure how surprising this is. The numbers are pretty much the same in the U.S. Whatever the reasons are, that’s just how it’s always been. Processes in England and the U.S. are in place to bring more men into teaching, and if that’s a viable path for an educated man, then why not? As long as you’re a quality teacher, your gender shouldn’t matter
The interesting bit comes from GTCE chief executive Alan Meyrick: “One of the principal concerns that men considering teaching feel is the worry that they will fall foul of rules which make normal contact between adults and children a legal minefield.”
In the Edutopia story (linked above), the lack of male teachers in the U.S. is mostly attributed to the lack of pay at lower levels of education, but the parents-will-think-I’m-a-pedohile problem is also mentioned. Again, we should want the best teachers—male or female—teaching. If some overblown biases and preconceptions are keeping that from happening, that kind of sucks.
What do you think? Should male teachers be worried about the “legal minefield?” How does this change? Let us know in the comments.