16-06-2017 - Chris Davies - Class People Blog - 0 comments
Is the 'Male Teacher' a Dying Profession?

It may have been last century, but I remember, quite fondly, my years at primary school. St Michaels C of E Primary in the market town of Kirkham, Lancashire. We won the football league without losing a game, we won the rounders tournament and athletics. We had school discos and summer fairs, raffles, dancing competitions and “Beat the Goalie”.

 We had one male teacher.

 At the time I suppose I just considered it the norm. I mean I was a kid, what did I know? His name was Mr Savage (an ironic name, as I remember him to be rather well tempered and calm) and I didn’t have him until Year 5. Until then I had had nothing but female teachers, including any supply teachers. This is a long time to not have a male role model whilst away from my father at school.

 Things were a little bit different in high school. Obviously it was much larger with individual teachers with their own specialties such as Maths and English, but there were still more female teachers. I don’t think I had a single male English teacher through my entire education, and that includes my A-Level in English language.

 Getting away from my own personal education and looking at things in a much broader light, it’s not much better. Looking at the school workforce statistics we can see that 85% of primary teachers are female.


 That’s an awful lot and means just 15% are male teachers. To put things into perspective even more, this number has increased since 2010, when it was a little over 20%. To say that male primary teachers are a minority is an understatement. But why is this? And what effect is it having? And most importantly, does it really matter?

 I think I can answer the latter question quite easily; yes, of course it matters. I was lucky, I had a father who was always around and was an excellent role model. But as I eluded to earlier, this role model wasn’t around when I was at school. Not everyone is as lucky as I was. In this day and age there are a lot more single parents, with women raising their children by themselves. In the situation where they are raising sons, that role model that they need isn’t around. It needs to be somewhere else and where better than in a teacher.

 The effect this is having is clear to see in results. At the end of Primary education, 22% of boys aged 11 achieve a level 5 or higher in English and Math’s. When you compare that of the 27% of girls achieving level 5+, it is clear to see which gender is performing to a higher level. Skipping ahead to 18 year olds, girls are 35% more likely to go university. This statistic is staggering.

 We can only really speculate as to why there are fewer male teachers. Maybe it isn’t seen as a “masculine” profession. Maybe the natural maternal instinct in women pushes them closer to working with children. Or, could it be as simple as not as many men actually want to be teachers. After all, back when I was at St Mick’s in Kirkham, my friends and I wanted to be policemen, pilots or rally car drivers. Not one ever put their hands up and said “I want to be a teacher”, but this is a full circle. Maybe the lack of male role model in that position meant that young boys didn’t see it as a viable career choice, subconsciously putting it into their heads. Fewer men are applying for these jobs and slowly the numbers start to dwindle.

 It would certainly be a shame if male teachers did go the way of the dodo. Certainly Mr. Savage was one of my favorite teachers. Every year we are crying out for more and more teachers and I for one would like to see a bit of emphasis put on getting more men into this career path. It’s well known that teachers don’t get enough recognition, so maybe if we started to make turn these non-caped crusaders into full blown heroes we might get more applicants. That’s what teachers are, both men and women, they’re heroes. As I stated, no one put their hands up and said “I want to teacher”, but everyone wanted to be Superman. Wouldn’t it be great if boys started putting their hands up to be a teacher?

 There’s always room for more superheroes.


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terms & conditions | privacy policy | sitemap
Class People is a trading name of LB Education Ltd
Company No. 4888231 | VAT No. 826366121
7th Floor, Eagle Tower, Montpellier Drive Cheltenham, Gloucestershire. GL50 1TA