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Male primary school teachers.

(82 Posts)
Snowfire Sat 17-Nov-12 19:30:25

I'm a governor at our small (3 mixed year classes) primary school. Four years ago, the three teachers were all older ladies. When the first one retired, she was replaced by a young newly qualified male teacher who really changed the dynamics of the school. The children love him and now four years on, we couldn't imagine not having him in the school!
Last year another teacher announced she was planning to retire so we advertised again for an NQT and had loads of applications. At interview, the best candidate by far was another young man so we then had 2 male teachers.
The lady teacher in the EYFS (R & yr1) has decided to retire at Xmas so we are (once again) recruiting. Short listing yesterday showed only one outstanding candidate who is again male! The HT has met him and says he seems wonderful but this would mean we would have an all male teaching staff. HT is concerned that parents may be put off by this & TBH, I can see what she means but should this be an issue?

Startail Sat 17-Nov-12 22:28:41

I'd worry slightly if all teachers were male and all support staff and TAs were female.

I have two DDs and I don't want them to think men are always in the senior role.

Especially as I'm a SAHM.

I'm delighted the mixed secondary has a female HT since the only male at the primary was HT

steppemum Sat 17-Nov-12 22:32:22

I agree startail, but I think head is female??

chloe74 Sat 17-Nov-12 22:47:32

Still sounds like there is some predjuice against male teachers. I feel its sets the female equality at work debate back when we suggest discriminating against teachers just because they are male.

SoupDragon Sat 17-Nov-12 22:51:19

But as long as there are female staff around and involved, then it should be best candidate.

No, it should be best candidate. Anything else is sexual discrimination.

...I am thinking of things like kids wetting themselves and needing help, which should not, in good practice, be a male teahcer with female child.

But a female teacher with a male child is fine? Why is that exactly?

DeadTall Sat 17-Nov-12 23:04:27

Surely you have to recruit based on the best candidate? As SoupDragon rightly points out - anything else would be discrimination and the school could be taken to an employment tribunal if you deliberately didn't hire someone simply because of their gender - that's illegal.

On the subject of whether parents would object - I certainly wouldn't, but I do know many who might raise an eyebrow. The important things like the school's ethos, the standards of teaching and pastoral care are more important than the teaching staff gender mix, IMO.

dikkertjedap Sat 17-Nov-12 23:10:41

As the HT is female and the TAs are female, your school won't have all male staff ...

I don't think that it is a problem at all BTW. If they are the best candidates then they should get the job. My only worry would be if you always only take on NQT, where would the experience come from or don't you value teaching experience much?

youonlysingwhenyourewinning Sat 17-Nov-12 23:13:56

You have to go for the best candidate.

As a parent, I wouldn't particularly like it.
One of the things that is really missing in my dd's school, is the presence of a male teacher. There isn't one single one. I think the children miss out by not having a mix and for that reason, I wouldn't like it.

I don't think there's anything you can do about it though.

Fairenuff Sun 18-Nov-12 21:25:11

I don't think you should be a governor if you are considering sexual discrimination in your recruitment process.

MrsMelons Sun 18-Nov-12 22:08:46

Both my boys (age 4 & 6) have male teachers. They are amazing and the boys have progressed amazingly. In fact DS1 has progressed a whole level in his writing since the end of the summer term (3 sub levels) since swapping from the female teacher he had before.

I have nothing against the female teacher of course - just don't think she inspired him in his writing. It is not the marking that is inconsistent or anything as all their levelled work is moderated and in fact it was moderated as higher than the male teacher had originally marked.

The boys relate so well to the male teachers but also the girls seem to 'hero worship' them and I know most of the girls in DS1s school think he is the best teacher in the school.

rrbrigi Mon 19-Nov-12 10:45:05

My son's teacher is female and she is a lovely teacher (my son loves her a lot), however I think a male teacher would be better for him just to teach him some discipline and to be a role model for him.

SoupDragon Mon 19-Nov-12 11:50:57

rrbrigi your DS needs a teacher with stronger discipline, not a male teacher.

Teachers are good and bad irrespective of their gender.

HouseOfBamboo Mon 19-Nov-12 13:21:20

I think what the OP is concerned about is the question of whether ideally a school should have a mix of male and female teachers (all other things being equal)? Difficult when you have a very small school and a limited number of teachers in the first place though.

Personally I think a mix is good and it wouldn't be ideal social role modelling if all the teachers were male and all the TAs female - there should be a mix of male and female TAs too.

BUT no, you absolutely can't discriminate on grounds of sex if the male applicants are clearly better, and the interview panel can say hand on heart that they aren't biased towards male candidates.

Re the 'male discipline' comment - I can only say that the very scariest teachers I have had have all been female!

zingally Mon 19-Nov-12 13:22:30

It is unusual, yes. But if he's the best candidate, then go for it!!

PLEASE don't not appoint him, just because he's male. Because if anyone got a wiff of that, you'll be done for sexual discrimination. It does work both ways.

owlelf Mon 19-Nov-12 13:33:12

Without question you have to employ the best person for the job.

This comment from upthread has confused me: "^I am thinking of things like kids wetting themselves and needing help, which should not, in good practice, be a male teacher with female child.^". What is this all about? Is it OK for a female teacher help out a female child but not vice-versa? Surely not?

lisad123 Mon 19-Nov-12 13:35:35

Dd1 is on her 3rd year of a male teacher. It's really not a problem and in fact been great as she finds males are clearer about what they want and are straight forward and easy to read (she has Asd)

Fairenuff Mon 19-Nov-12 20:39:48

owlelf teachers (or more often, teaching assistants) just help children to change themselves if they have an accident. Sorting out dry clothes, providing a bag to put wet things in and a private area to change, that sort of thing. There is usually no need to touch the child.

If the child does need help to clean themselves, it is good practice to have one member of staff help and another to be present. It doesn't matter if they are male or female for KS1 children.

ccarpenton Mon 19-Nov-12 20:52:58

"Ps. I think a lot of boys' parents would find an all male teaching staff appealing."

Really? I think they'd be very territorial actually.

MogTheForgetfulCat Mon 19-Nov-12 21:59:52

It wouldn't bother me at all. It drives me crackers that at the primary school my DSs attend, the only male teachers are the head and the games teacher, whereas all the others are women. I think this doesn't send a great message to the children - all these lovely, brilliant female teachers, but they need a man at the helm. And a man to teach manly things like sport. So more male class teachers would be great, IMO.

As a female teacher, I sometimes get a bit exhasperated by views such as "I think a male teacher would be better for him just to teach him some discipline". Actually, I can do discipline, inspiration, motivation ... exactly as well as my male colleagues. Some of the more traditional of our parents are suprised by this.

xkcdfangirl Mon 19-Nov-12 23:07:30

I completely agree that you should appoint the best candidate for the job - but you and the other people on the recruitment panel need to think very carefully about how you are defining what you are looking for in a candidate, how you are visualising the "best candidate" - if you are subconsciously thinking something like "we need someone with as much energy and dynamism as Mr Smith" you may be picturing a male appointee in your mind and this could be subconsciously pushing you to not noticing excellent but different qualities in female candidates?

On the other hand - it is also possible that the principal of "birds of a feather flock together" is at play here. I know a man who is currently training to be a primary school teacher, who is adamant that he will not be applying for any job where he would be the only male teacher in the school. If lots of male teachers feel similarly it may simply be that your school is seen as a particularly desirable place to work if you are a male teacher, and therefore there is a much greater chance of a very high quality candidate being from this gender.

auntevil Mon 19-Nov-12 23:48:19

Personally I think a mix in any working environment is the healthiest - it gives the best of each.
I have had the pleasure experience of working in an all female bar 1 environment, and being the only female in another. Neither ideal because of the imbalance.
My children's school has male only senior management - and I think it is reflected in some of the new policies. Go getting and less thought to family practicalities.
Having said all that - go for the best person for the job every time.

SoupDragon Tue 20-Nov-12 07:21:29

"Ps. I think a lot of boys' parents would find an all male teaching staff appealing."

Really? I think they'd be very territorial actually.

What on earth does that mean?!

Our school was female only (bar the caretaker) for many years. I remember that the head was exasperated at this but the fact was that they didn't get any male applicants of the right calibre. There are, I think, now 3 male teachers. One of whom is (or was) a jobshare with a female one to enable him look after his children X days per week.

poshfrock Tue 20-Nov-12 07:41:53

Presumably this wasn't an issue when you had three female teachers (ie the ones who have all just retired)? So why is it an issue now to have three male teachers? You just pick the best people for the job. My DD had a male teacher for Years 1,2 and 3 and loved them. If you also have female TAs and a female HT then I think you have a good balance. My DSS's primary school was entirely female which I found a bit odd.

Ladymuck Tue 20-Nov-12 08:50:11

Ds's school now has all 4 junior class teachers being male as well as the art teacher and the sports teacher. It is becoming more difficult for residential trips, and also for supervising changing for games. Not unmanageable, just not as easy as when there were both genders as class teachers. But the head did explain that at the point when she was recruiting the newest member of staff it was clear to her that the best candidate was a man. I suspect that it is more offputting for parents of girls and I'll be interested to see how they manage to cover sex education under the new set-up.

BeatTheClock Tue 20-Nov-12 09:09:08

It wouldn't put me off at all. Its good to see male teachers in primary schools; I think for too long it's been an environment top heavy with women.

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