Fall in proportion of male teachers in Sheffield's secondary schools

Sheffield's school workforce has become slightly more female dominated over the last decade, data shows.

Saturday, 24th October 2020, 4:45 pm

But the Education Policy Institute think tank said a decline in male secondary school teachers nationally has been fuelled by a significant fall in the proportion of white men teaching in schools.

Of the 2,052 secondary school teachers in Sheffield whose gender was listed in the School Workforce Census last year, 794 were male.

That meant men made up 39% of the workforce, compared to 39% a decade earlier.

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There are more female teachers than male

The proportion of male teachers across all of the area's schools – including primary, nursery and special schools – was even lower, at 30%.

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

Analysis by 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% 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% – 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 to 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.

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.