Fall in proportion of male teachers in Peterborough’s schools

Peterborough’s school workforce has become more female dominated over the last decade, data shows.

By Andy Hubbert
Sunday, 25th October 2020, 7:33 am
The proportion of male teachers in Peterborough schools is falling. Photo: PA EMN-201022-184927001
The proportion of male teachers in Peterborough schools is falling. Photo: PA EMN-201022-184927001

Of the 1,972 teachers in Peterborough whose gender was listed in the School Workforce Census last year, 551 were male.

That meant men made up just 28 per cent of the workforce, compared with 32 per cent a decade earlier.

However, men made up a higher proportion of teaching staff across the area’s secondary schools – 36 per cent.

The figures exclude teachers employed directly by the local authority, who are not assigned to a particular school.

Analysis from the Education Policy Institute think tank has revealed a drop in the proportion of male teachers across England in the last 10 years, driven by a fall in the number of white men teaching in schools.

The EPI found that across England, the proportion of men teaching in secondary schools has fallen year-on-year since 2010, hitting its lowest level in 2019-20 when 36 per cent of teachers were male.

But despite the workforce becoming more female-dominated, the proportion of male black and minority ethnic male teachers has risen to 17 per cent – which the EPI said is broadly representative of the wider population for the first time.

Joshua Fullard, author and senior researcher at the EPI, said: “While the Covid-19 recession has boosted teacher applications, this has had no effect on the gender diversity of the school workforce, which is still heavily dominated by women.

“Evidence suggests that when a teacher matches the background of their pupils, this can help to improve pupil outcomes.

“It’s therefore encouraging that despite the overall decline in males, we have seen a rise in the proportion of BME male teachers, which now corresponds with the population as a whole.”

The report suggested that the decline of men in the profession is likely to be caused by the public sector pay freeze, with teachers’ pay stagnating over the last decade.

A Department for Education spokeswoman said: “We are working to increase the diversity of the teaching workforce, and have improved pathways into the profession with the aim of a diverse workforce that supports the progression and retention of all teachers, regardless of gender.”

She added that teacher pay is increasing, bringing the department closer to its aim of having a £30,000 starting salary by 2022.

“We moved closer to that this year by introducing the biggest pay rise since 2005 with above-inflation pay rises to the pay ranges for every single teacher in the country,” she said.