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We need to rethink recruitment for men in primary schools

Kevin McGrath writes in The Conversation (17.10.16) about the shortage in Australia of male school teachers, suggesting ways that governments might attempt to redress this gender imbalance.

‘Across Australia there is a shortage of male teachers, particularly in primary schools, where men make up just 19% of the full-time workforce nationwide.

‘While in universities, incentives are offered to women to redress gender imbalance in certain subject areas like science, technology, engineering and maths, the law doesn’t allow for the same incentives to be offered to men.

‘Although the number of male primary school teachers in Australia is not declining – the number of full time male primary teachers in Australia has remained fairly constant over the last 25 years – the number of female primary teachers has increased dramatically, causing a proportional decline of men.

‘We know why men are reluctant to enter the teaching profession – with low salary, status and the perception that teaching young children is better suited to women being chief among these reasons. So why can’t we do anything about it?’

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