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Primary Education: Teachers

Volume 460: debated on Wednesday 9 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills, pursuant to the answer of 28 March 2007, Official Report, column 1545W, on primary education teachers, whether he has taken steps to encourage schools to employ more men as primary school teachers; how much has been spent advertising jobs in publications likely to reach a predominantly male audience; whether he has encouraged schools to put in place targets for the recruitment of male teachers; whether specific training courses are offered only to male teachers; whether any advice has been given to schools of their right to advertise jobs under Section 47(1a) of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975; and if he will make a statement on the present number of male primary school teachers. (135532)

DfES and TDA-Training and Development Agency for Schools-are working together to develop a programme of action to increase the number of men working in primary schools.

The TDA has a range of actions specifically designed to encourage men to train to be primary teachers, in particular, three day TDA funded primary teaching 'taster courses' specifically for men. TDA advertises in national newspapers rather than male-themed publications because those have been more effective in attracting potential high quality teachers. TDA advertise for able, committed and high-quality trainees, regardless of gender.

Neither TDA nor schools have targets for the recruitment of male trainees or staff. Employers must recruit the best candidate for the job. Training providers are expected to recruit the best quality candidates. The TDA aim is to improve annually on the existing 14 per cent. of male trainees accepted onto primary ITT courses. TDA does not offer teacher training courses specifically to males.

Schools are free to advertise their vacancies where they wish. No advice has been given to schools on Section 47 (1a) of the Sex Discrimination Act 1975.

The latest provisional figure available for the number of male teachers in primary schools in 2005 was 26,700.