Paedophile hysteria preventing men applying to work in primary schools ...
... a Government advisor has said.
Graeme Paton, 30 Sep 2008, Telegraph, UK
The lack of male teachers may be having a serious effect on boys' performance in the classroom as many miss out on strong role models at a young age, according to Tanya Byron, the child psychologist.
She said the shortage particularly hit children from single-parent families who often went without father figures in the home.
The comments came as a campaign was launched by the Government's Training and Development Agency for Schools to recruit more men into the primary sector.
According to official figures, fewer than one in eight primary school teachers are male, and numbers plummet to just one in 50 among those working in reception and nursery classes.
Dr Byron is the presenter of a television show on problem children called Little Angels, as well as a Government advisor on internet safety. She said paranoia about child abuse was driving many men out of the classroom.
Research by the TDA showed almost half of men believed male primary school teachers helped them develop at a young age. In a survey of 800 adults, it was revealed a third were challenged to work harder because of men in the primary years, while 50 per cent were more likely to report problems such as bullying to male teachers.
Dr Byron said boys - many of whom struggle to sit still at a young age - worked better with men. They also needed more exposure to males in school to show that learning was not a feminine virtue, she said. She added that positive male role models were particularly important for boys from single-parent households.
In 2006-07, fewer than a quarter of primary and secondary school teaching qualifications were obtained by men - the lowest figure in five years.