More male teachers needed, says head

The Highfield Campus at the University of Southampton, which is home to the George Thomas Building. Picture: Geograph

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THE head of a Cosham primary school has called on more men to sign up as teachers for young children.

Howard Payne, of Medina Primary, said he was concerned at General Teaching Council figures that show one in four primary schools in England has no male teachers.

Medina – one of the smallest primaries in Portsmouth – has no male staff apart from the head and the caretaker and Mr Payne wants to see more men coming forward to teach.

He said: ‘I want the best teachers for the job, male or female. But boys respond brilliantly to strong male role models and we need more of them in schools. We invite men to talk to pupils about their careers and the importance of their education, which the boys find inspiring.

‘Schools should reflect society, and I’d like to have young teachers as well as older ones with more experience, and ideally both sexes.’

Only 12 per cent of primary teachers are male, compared with 38 per cent at secondaries. Education secretary Michael Gove suggested men were put off by worries that teacher-pupil contact was a ‘legal minefield’.