Male primary teachers have spoken of their fear of being perceived as suspicious for working with young children and the lack of male role models for boys in schools. The Telegraph reports.
Teachers, unions and charities are now urging young men to see through the traditional perception of primary school teachers and sign up to teach younger children.
Ex-teacher Julian Stanley, CEO of Education Support Partnership, a charity providing wellbeing support to education staff, said: “The concern of safeguarding is huge for men – it’s about whether you can work with children and be viewed with suspicion.”
The number of male primary school teachers remains at an all time low, with just 15 percent of nursery and primary school teachers in England being male, according to the latest figures.
Ben King, 30, teaches a Year 5 class at a Horsham primary school and agrees. He feels that although it’s not often spoken about, there is an underlying suspicion of men who teach in primary schools.
“There are issues surrounding safeguarding which are not spoken about. For example when girls get changed for P.E. I leave the room, we are taught to look out for signs of abuse like bruises when [children] get changed,” he said.
“I don’t feel comfortable doing that and they are supervised by female staff instead. The same goes for hugging a child that has hurt themselves. I don’t think female teachers have the same issue.”
David Keytes, 29, started teaching a Year 4 class in Surrey wanting a career move after eight years in a sales role. He thinks boys need more role models to encourage them into teaching.
He said: “To incentivise more men to work in the primary sector it would be great to see more male teachers in primary school teaching adverts. For secondary schools, they use a mixture of male and female teachers but when we look at primary schools there are more female teachers in the classrooms.”
Are you a male primary teacher? Do you feel the same way? Please tell us your thoughts in comments or via Twitter ~ Tamsin