The education charity Teach First has stated that classrooms in England require more male teachers and support staff to inspire children further. Statistics recently released by the Department of Education state that 26% of all teachers in England are men, with 38% teaching in secondary schools and 15% in primary schools. Therefore, particularly in the early years sector, there is clearly a big gender gap to close.
The Department of Education also released statistics earlier this year documenting that the number of men working in education has been declining. Currently, 20% of teachers are men, compared to 25% in 2010. Teach First announced that 30% of the participants in their most recent Leadership Development Programme were men, which still demonstrates a significant imbalance. This disparity is despite recent high-profile campaigns to recruit more men into the teaching profession.
Why are there few male teachers?
The reason for low participation of men within the teaching industry seems to be due, in part, to misconceptions about the profession namely, that it mainly caters to women. As a result, this perception is causing the profession to miss out on talented male educators. One of the main reasons there has been a call for more male teachers is that boys tend to under-perform in school. Many educators believe that strong male role models may help engage boys in the learning process, especially for those in more vulnerable groups, such as boys who do not have a strong male role model at home.
Perhaps you have been considering a career in teaching, but as a man, you have been unsure if this is a viable option for you. The recent reports and statistics will hopefully show you that there are indeed plenty of opportunities in this field for men, including the ability to move into specialist and leadership roles. There are also many other career options within education, including more 1-1 opportunities and support roles.
How to become a teacher
If you are considering the teaching profession, you may wish to consider one of the four distance learning Teaching Assistant courses offered by Oxbridge as a starting point. These courses will be ideal preparation for entering the classroom environment and will teach you all the skills required to work with children.