There need to be more male role models for children in early years education, the school leaders’ union NAHT says, as only 3% of teachers in this field are men. The BBC reports.
The Department for Education says a group has been set up to look in more depth at the number of men working in early years – and consider what more could be done.
But how can more men be encouraged to apply for the roles?
1. Challenge the stigma – it is not just for women
“I think it is a deep-seated culture issue,” says ex-head teacher James Bowen, now a director for NAHT.
He suggests that there is a feeling early years teaching is the type of job only women do that prevents men from considering the roles.
“It is incredibly hard to change culture that has existed for decades,” he says. “The only way to get a culture change is you have to get people people talking more.”
He believes that a government advertising campaign would help – and suggests one way to promote the job to men might be to talk to fathers who are dropping off their children at nursery.
2. More money – salary and bursaries
Shaddai Tembo, from the Bristol Men in Early Years Network, is a family support worker at a children’s centre in Bristol.
He says early years roles are still seen as jobs for women and work needs to be done to change perceptions.
Early years teachers are similar to qualified teacher status in schools, he says, “but pays nowhere near as much”.
“The EYT role itself is great, but the pay disparity turns many people to teaching instead,” he says. “There is not the career path there should be for the early years.”
3. Gender diversity targets and training
For Jeremy Davies, from the Fatherhood Institute think tank, it is not just about the salary.
He regards the early years sector as “institutionally sexist” and says the government should act on “several fronts” to address this.
Action should include gender diversity targets and publication of annual data on the gender composition of the workforce, he says.
Read the full article Four ways to get more men teaching kids
Are you a male in the early years sector? How do you think more men can be encouraged into the profession? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin
Are you a trainee teacher, NQT, teacher, headteacher, parent or just someone who cares about education and has something to get off your chest in a Schools Improvement Guest Post? Follow this link for more details at the bottom of the page.Don’t forget you can sign up to receive our daily email bulletin (around 7am) with all the latest schools news stories. Your details will never be given to anyone else and you can unsubscribe at any stage. Just follow this link.
We now have a Facebook page - please click to like!