A gender pay gap affects teaching staff in FE in almost all subject areas, according to a new report by the Education and Training Foundation, released today, which is based on staff individualised record data from 111 colleges and a number of providers.
For the first time, its annual Further Education Workforce Data for England report reveals the median gender pay gap among teaching staff by subject. It shows that men earn significantly more than their female colleagues in nearly three-quarters of subjects, with a median gender pay gap in 12 out of 17 subject areas.
In some cases, the gap equates to a yearly difference in salary that runs into thousands of pounds.
The biggest gender pay gap (10 per cent) is in agriculture, horticulture and animal care. Significant gaps exist in English (8 per cent) and humanities (7 per cent).
The gender pay gap is less pronounced in a number of other areas, being less than 5 per cent in subjects such as maths, science, and information and communication technology.
Just one area – leisure, travel and tourism – shows parity between the sexes, with no gender pay gap.
The median gender pay gap is in minus figures – meaning that women earn more than men – in four subjects. These are social sciences, engineering and manufacturing technologies, retail and commercial enterprise, and preparation for life and work.
The biggest negative pay gap (12 per cent) exists among those teaching courses preparing students for life and work. In these cases, the median annual salary for a male teacher is £27,900 compared with £31,200 for a female teacher.
The overall gender pay gap among teaching staff in colleges is 3 per cent, which equates to men being paid £900 per year more on average, according to the report. A more detailed study of the pay gap among FE teaching staff would be needed to determine if it is down to “differential pay for ‘equivalent’ individuals doing equivalent roles”, once factors such as experience and age have been accounted for, it says.
A government spokesperson says: “This government is clear that tackling injustices like the gender pay gap is part of building a country that works for everyone.”
They add: “No woman should be held back just because of her gender.”
One approach being taken is to try to “get more girls studying science, technology, engineering and maths subjects, so that they get into more lucrative professions when they are older”, they say.