The lack of male teachers

The Herald reports:

Students are now less likely to have a male teacher, with many going through their early years without ever encountering a male role model.

Ministry of Education figures show fewer than one-in-five primary school teachers are male.

Principals want more research on what is putting men off the profession, but fear pay and high-profile sexual abuse cases are to blame.

The Ministry of Education is “very conscious” of the gender imbalance, but says with no shortage of teachers there are no recruitment drives aimed at men.

“Evidence tells us that the most important factor in lifting achievement is the quality of teaching, not the gender of the teacher,” said Dr Graham Stoop, the ministry’s head of student achievement.

But that doesn’t mean the gender is insignificant. There is a wide and growing disparity between the achievements levels of boys and girls at school. Girls on average are doing significantly better. It should be a priority to close this gap by improving the outcomes for male students, and I would not dismiss the possibility that the lack of male teachers is a significant factor.

9% more female students achieve NCEA Level 1 in Year 11, 8% more achieve NCEA Level 2 and 13% more achieve NCEA Level 3. These gender gaps are larger than the gaps between decile 4 to 7 schools and decile 8 to 10 schools.

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