Recruiting Male Teachers in Primary Schools

Gender equality is somewhat of a trending topic at the moment, yet the education sector is one where the pendulum seems to have swung against the grain. After years of promoting teaching as a positive and fulfilling career option for women, primary schools are predominantly filled with dedicated female teachers, while the number of male…

Gender equality is somewhat of a trending topic at the moment, yet the education sector is one where the pendulum seems to have swung against the grain. After years of promoting teaching as a positive and fulfilling career option for women, primary schools are predominantly filled with dedicated female teachers, while the number of male educators is falling. We take a look at why this is and a few considerations for recruiting male teachers.  

 

AN EDUCATION GENDER IMBALANCE

In Australia, only 18% of fulltime primary school teachers are men. It’s a similar story in New Zealand, where the figure is just 12%.  

WHY IS THERE A SHORTAGE OF MALE TEACHERS?

There are several reasons why women have gravitated towards primary education, ranging from traditional social perceptions of females as caregivers and nurturers to the conservative image of it as a ‘suitable’ career for women. Conversely this has meant it is sometimes perceived as not a particularly masculine vocation, and hence not particularly appealing to men. Teaching as a whole is sometimes portrayed to be a less than desirable career, with no particular status and relatively low salaries, given the amount of effort and time put into it. Some have also suggested that the imbalance may be due in part to perceived safety issues, with men working in childcare being seen as ‘a threat’. However, as studies show,there are social, intellectual and emotional benefits in having both male and female teachers – for boys and girls.  

ADDRESSING THE IMBALANCE

If we want more male school teachers, then we need to highlight why it’s an important role – perhaps even one of the most important roles in society – and challenge some of the negative perceptions around the profession. Improving salaries and making more fulltime teaching positions available may be part of the solution. Targeted recruitment may also be important, with a report from the Learning Science­s Institute Australia showing male teachers are often drawn to the profession by a subject they have a particular interest in. The impetus to make teaching more appealing to men can start with your school. If you are recruiting, then it is essential not only to define the role and who you are looking for, but to make clear what your school has to offer in terms of career progression and support, and why your school will value their contribution.  

READY TO RECRUIT?

Recruiting for education roles requires a professional approach. Once you have a clear idea of who you are looking for and are ready to recruit, then we can help you find the ideal candidate. We have candidates who are highly skilled and passionate about providing the best education for boys and girls around the country.