Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

JohnM

Schools question

53 posts in this topic

Just returned from seeing grand daughter no.3 in her Friday afternoon primary school assembly.  Not one male teacher in a school of over 300 pupils.  It seems the last remaining two male teachers left just before Christmas.  Is this situation normal these days?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Given the sort of salacious rumours that can start amongst parents for no reason whatsoever, but fuelled by suspicions as to why a male might be motivated to want to be amongst young children on a daily basis, would you want to chance it. Sad but true!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just returned from seeing grand daughter no.3 in her Friday afternoon primary school assembly.  Not one male teacher in a school of over 300 pupils.  It seems the last remaining two male teachers left just before Christmas.  Is this situation normal these days?

Yes, it is.  I trained as a primary school teacher, qualifying in 2010, and a push was underway to recruit more men into primary school teaching at that time as the imbalance had not only been recognised but regretted. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The decline in the number of male teachers in primary schools has been happening over a long period. It seems to be the case in other parts of public services also. A lot of teachers move to other jobs a few years after qualifying but I can't remember the stats on it. Perhaps men are more likely to move into other jobs from teaching than women may be due to factors such as child care.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, it is.  I trained as a primary school teacher, qualifying in 2010, and a push was underway to recruit more men into primary school teaching at that time as the imbalance had not only been recognised but regretted. 

 

The push to recruit more men stalled before it started with all the major teaching unions opposing it.  I'm not sure there's any specific recruitment plan for male teachers now - unless you know differently on the inside?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Dad was a teacher and moved from working in a junior school to working in a comprehensive school in the 1960's.

 

Historically, primary school teachers had a significantly lower salary grading than secondary teachers. Don't know if it's still the case.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My Dad was a teacher and moved from working in a junior school to working in a comprehensive school in the 1960's.

 

Historically, primary school teachers had a significantly lower salary grading than secondary teachers. Don't know if it's still the case.

I think it still is the case, and there seem to be many more opportunities to progress your career in secondary schools.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My children went to primary school from mid-1990s to mid-2000s and were never taught by a male teacher. The headteacher was female, and the only male employee was the janitor.

While the teachers were excellent I did think that the children did miss out in some ways. I especially noticed this through my son when he went to secondary school. He did very well at primary, but once he got to the 'big school' he seemed to be freshly enthused by the male teachers. As well as having all these new male role models, just things like talking about football on a Monday morning (especially if St Johnstone had won and the teacher's team had lost!), sharing a new type of humour, and getting an adult male outlook on life seemed very important to him. I think lads, especially, miss out on not having male teachers during their primary years and, although it perhaps isn't as obvious, I suspect the girls do too.

Obviously the following doesn't necessarily happen in this day and age, but one year, when a young teacher left, no one was interested in organising the football team to play in the local shools league. A few offered to help with netball, but football? No. I think it would have been more likely that male teachers would have volunteered. In the end it was left to the Classroom Assistant - my wife - to take a couple of basic coaching courses and take on the role of manager. Despite knowing next to nothing about football, she took the school team, in successive seasons, from 6th (last), to 5th, to 2nd before leading them to become champions in her final season in charge. And she is now able to boast that she coached a current full international player!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it still is the case, and there seem to be many more opportunities to progress your career in secondary schools.

 

I've just googled "teachers pay scale" to double check and it confirmed what I thought. There is no difference between Primary and Secondary school teachers' pay.

 

As for career progression, I have no facts and figures, just my own experience, but I would say that there probably are more opportunities for progression in secondary schools simply because they tend to be bigger than primary schools. Paradoxically, I suspect that a male primary school teacher might find it easier to rise to a headteacher position, partly due to their scarcity value, partly due to the fact that many women find it difficult to juggle the demands of a headship with running a family home and possibly just old-fashioned prejudice (tin-hat on, ducks for cover).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The push to recruit more men stalled before it started with all the major teaching unions opposing it.  I'm not sure there's any specific recruitment plan for male teachers now - unless you know differently on the inside?

Potential male teachers are actively targeted by teacher training colleges.  There isn't really much more that can be done but colleges have certainly been vocal in trying to attract men into the primary sector in recent years.  We were told that quite openly where I went to college.  As you can imagine, the subject caused a bit of a stir among the female trainees!  While those of us who joined in the discussion were fully in agreement that men and women were both needed in primary schools, not least as role models for the children, we were also concerned that good female teachers may be overlooked in the process.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've just googled "teachers pay scale" to double check and it confirmed what I thought. There is no difference between Primary and Secondary school teachers' pay.

 

As for career progression, I have no facts and figures, just my own experience, but I would say that there probably are more opportunities for progression in secondary schools simply because they tend to be bigger than primary schools. Paradoxically, I suspect that a male primary school teacher might find it easier to rise to a headteacher position, partly due to their scarcity value, partly due to the fact that many women find it difficult to juggle the demands of a headship with running a family home and possibly just old-fashioned prejudice (tin-hat on, ducks for cover).

Correct.  The difference in pay scale was abolished some time ago.  The opportunities for secondary school teachers are greater for the reason you suggest as there are whole departments to manage as well as extra curricular responsibilities such as pastoral care and invariably there is more than one assistant headteacher required as well as the headteacher.  In a primary school there will be subject responsibilities, but no departments, only one assistant headteacher and one headteacher, and that's yer lot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As well as having all these new male role models, just things like talking about football on a Monday morning (especially if St Johnstone had won and the teacher's team had lost!), sharing a new type of humour, and getting an adult male outlook on life seemed very important to him. I think lads, especially, miss out on not having male teachers during their primary years and, although it perhaps isn't as obvious, I suspect the girls do too.

While the point about role models is valid, and indeed it is really the more common (in current society) lack of male role model in the home which has prompted the debate about its absence in primary schools, your point about a 'male outlook' as you describe it (which is quite stereotypical, albeit uninentionally so I'm sure) is probably less important in primary school than in secondary school.  The presence of men is of equal importance to girls as well as boys but simply in a different way.  The role model for fatherhood is really what is implied here as although the in loco parentis role was officially taken from teachers some time ago I believe, it is still very much alive and kicking.  Nobody can be an effective primary school teacher without it to some degree (see: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=370916 and note the term 'prudent father).

 

A lot of female teachers are both happy and qualified to take on sports and other stereotypically male activities and conversations.  For example, I trained as a rugby league coach in order to be in a position to offer the sport to children in any school I taught at but I'm also good at dance and so offered that, too.  Likewise, a child in one class I taught was obsessed with cricket.  I knew enough about cricket to have great conversations with him and sometimes I would link cricket with whatever we were learning (just as I would link other children's interests into classes where possible).  There shouldn't be gender barriers in classrooms.  IMO teachers should be committed to connecting with their children and that includes doing some research on subjects they may not be naturally interested in or good at.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While the point about role models is valid, and indeed it is really the more common (in current society) lack of male role model in the home which has prompted the debate about its absence in primary schools, your point about a 'male outlook' as you describe it (which is quite stereotypical, albeit uninentionally so I'm sure) is probably less important in primary school than in secondary school.  The presence of men is of equal importance to girls as well as boys but simply in a different way.  The role model for fatherhood is really what is implied here as although the in loco parentis role was officially taken from teachers some time ago I believe, it is still very much alive and kicking.  Nobody can be an effective primary school teacher without it to some degree (see: http://www.tes.co.uk/article.aspx?storycode=370916 and note the term 'prudent father).

 

A lot of female teachers are both happy and qualified to take on sports and other stereotypically male activities and conversations.  For example, I trained as a rugby league coach in order to be in a position to offer the sport to children in any school I taught at but I'm also good at dance and so offered that, too.  Likewise, a child in one class I taught was obsessed with cricket.  I knew enough about cricket to have great conversations with him and sometimes I would link cricket with whatever we were learning (just as I would link other children's interests into classes where possible).  There shouldn't be gender barriers in classrooms.  IMO teachers should be committed to connecting with their children and that includes doing some research on subjects they may not be naturally interested in or good at.

 

I understand your points about stereotyping, and women being interested in stereotypical male subjects such as sport and, indeed being committed to teaching them, but I am speaking from experience, or from the experiences of my children. Please understand that the female teachers at their primary school were first class and no criticism was meant, but I do think a male presence on the teaching staff is important in a primary school.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they do play soccer at GD3's school, and there were a few fathers in the assembly. it just struck me as a very imbalanced environment. At my primary school late 1949 to 1957 ( !!!!!!!!)  the balance was more like 50/50.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

they do play soccer at GD3's school, and there were a few fathers in the assembly. it just struck me as a very imbalanced environment. At my primary school late 1949 to 1957 ( !!!!!!!!)  the balance was more like 50/50.

 

Although your take on the 50s balance seems about right (Moston Lane CP had two female and two male teachers in the late 50s/early 60s), there could be other factors at work. Remember that a lot of predominantly male teachers were recruited from the armed forces under the emergency training scheme immediately after WW2. This might have skewed the balance from a previously female-heavy workforce back to roughly evens. My own father, emergency-trained secondary teacher, had switched to primary by the late 50s and my recollection of his colleagues (visits to his schools, staff photos) ties in with what you say about that time, but by the late 60s/early 70s, there were more women than men numbered among his colleagues.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand your points about stereotyping, and women being interested in stereotypical male subjects such as sport and, indeed being committed to teaching them, but I am speaking from experience, or from the experiences of my children. Please understand that the female teachers at their primary school were first class and no criticism was meant, but I do think a male presence on the teaching staff is important in a primary school.

 

The fact that you need to apologise so profusely for a common sense statement shows a key part of the problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand your points about stereotyping, and women being interested in stereotypical male subjects such as sport and, indeed being committed to teaching them, but I am speaking from experience, or from the experiences of my children. Please understand that the female teachers at their primary school were first class and no criticism was meant, but I do think a male presence on the teaching staff is important in a primary school.

I didn't take your post as a criticism at all.  Rather, I think we are talking about two different things here.  What has been identified as missing by not having male role models within a primary school is the father.  It isn't about male conversation or approach per se.  I was simply trying to define more closely what is being sought.  Sports, etc, are frankly irrelevant because they can be taught and talked about by teachers of either gender.  This is more focused upon the lack of relating between children of both genders and men in a caring role, because teaching young children - especially infant age children - is predominantly a caring role.  Many children now of course have only one parent at home and usually it is the female parent.  Therefore, there are quite a high number of children now who have almost no consistent male caring in their lives.  IMO that is a great loss to children of both genders.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact that you need to apologise so profusely for a common sense statement shows a key part of the problem.

A key part of what problem?

 

And personally I didn't think there was anything to apologise for.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Primary school children are at school just  6 hours a day out of 24 but it is an important  6 hours. I wondered to what extent GD3 and in her turn GD4 will be conditioned, however unintentionally, by the predominance of female teachers (and heads) during their most formative years. Lots has been done  (but more to be done yet) to restore the imbalance between males and females  in the workplace  in general, but I wonder if primary education needs special attention.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Primary school children are at school just  6 hours a day out of 24 but it is an important  6 hours. I wondered to what extent GD3 and in her turn GD4 will be conditioned, however unintentionally, by the predominance of female teachers (and heads) during their most formative years. Lots has been done  (but more to be done yet) to restore the imbalance between males and females  in the workplace  in general, but I wonder if primary education needs special attention.

In what sense 'conditioned'?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In what sense 'conditioned'?

 

Into believing that schools, learning, academic attainment and its associations are primarily female?

 

After all, if the only man you see throughout your time at school is there to clean the toilets ...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Into believing that schools, learning, academic attainment and its associations are primarily female?

 

I've no idea whether that is what JohnM meant.

 

 

After all, if the only man you see throughout your time at school is there to clean the toilets ...

All the cleaners in the schools I have taught in have been female.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've no idea whether that is what JohnM meant.

 

All the cleaners in the schools I have taught in have been female.

 

Oh dear.

 

No men there at all?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Primary school children are at school just 6 hours a day out of 24 but it is an important 6 hours. I wondered to what extent GD3 and in her turn GD4 will be conditioned, however unintentionally, by the predominance of female teachers (and heads) during their most formative years. Lots has been done (but more to be done yet) to restore the imbalance between males and females in the workplace in general, but I wonder if primary education needs special attention.

It was receiving "special attention" from the Childcare Workforce Development Council but then that was abolished by this Government.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



League Express - Mon 10th April 2017

Rugby League World - April 2017