Letters Extra : Is teaching too female friendly?

25th June 2004 at 01:00
The Government's current advertising campaign 'Use your head teach' is presumably a response to a perceived shortage of teachers.

My son's experience as a PGCE student would suggest that this perception is not a reality. He has a good degree and has been highly praised during his PGCE course. Yet, to date, he has been unable to obtain his first teaching post. He has been shortlisted for eleven of the fifteen posts he has applied for and has been told that he performed well in the seven interviews he has attended. However in all but one of these the appointee has been female. At his last interview he was one of four inteviewees out of a field of 24 applicants and it has been a similar picture in the other cases.

This suggests to me that the shortage of teachers is a myth and that there is a clear preference to appoint female applicants, presumably they are seen as less likely to attract unwelcome claims of abuse in the litigious climate so prevalent today. No doubt, in the not too distant future, we will have cries of anguish that boys have no male role models in secondary schools, as we now have in primary schools.

It seems likely that the teaching profession is about to lose a talented and able teacher and the taxpayer a considerable financial investment.

Use your head. Teach. I don't think so.
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