Please Sir, We Need You in the Classroom; Shortage of Men in Teaching Means Pupils Lack Role Models

Article excerpt

Byline: By CARL BUTLER

FIGURES yesterday revealed not enough men are becoming teachers in Wales.

The General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW) said too few men are entering the profession in both primary and secondary schools.

Only 26.9% of the teaching workforce in Wales are men. In primary schools, 84% of teachers are women, while just 16% are men.

In secondary schools, 40% of teachers are male.

Despite a drive by the Teacher Training Agency in 2002 to recruit more men, there is still a chronic shortage of men in Welsh classrooms.

There are fears this gender imbalance within the profession could disadvantage pupils by denying them male role models.

Some children reach the age of 11without ever having a male teacher. Research has shown this can be a particular problem for boys, especially those from homes without a significant male presence who are looking for influence and role models at school.

But the GTCW statistics also show few women become headteachers, despite the lack of men and predominance of women in teaching.

In 2004-5 in Wales, figures show 50.1% of all headteachers are male and in secondary schools 81. …