Why are male teachers on the decline in Queensland?

MALE ROLE MODELS: Matthew Flinders primary school Prep teachers Dan Keane and Andrew Garrett, right, with Lennox Weatherley, 5, and Maddi Goulding, 6.
MALE ROLE MODELS: Matthew Flinders primary school Prep teachers Dan Keane and Andrew Garrett, right, with Lennox Weatherley, 5, and Maddi Goulding, 6. Cade Mooney

A BUDERIM private school is proudly bucking the trend of a declining pool of male teachers in Queensland.

The number of male teachers in Queensland schools has fallen to "alarming" levels, the Queensland College of Teachers says.

More than a third of the Matthew Flinders Anglican College teaching staff are men - a number that head of primary school Bruce Winther says is "quite high".

"We have 39 teachers in our primary school and 14 are male," Mr Winther said.

"We are meeting new parents every year or parents who move from other schools who are surprised it is quite high.

"We had feedback from parents who are pleased to see male teachers in Prep.

"We don't just have nuclear families anymore. There are a wide range of families where sometimes children don't have access to their fathers, so we've been told it is nice to have a calming, good, male role model at that age.

"But at the end of the day, we have great female role model teachers as well ... we are just looking to have that balance there of male and females too as we do with male and female students."


Poor pay rates and a diminished perception of teaching careers has been blamed for the slide, with registered male teachers making up barely 16% of educators at state primary school level this year.

The Queensland College of Teachers has proposed an investigation into the decline.

The new wave of teachers is also lacking in men, with the latest figures from the University of the Sunshine Coast indicating that 70% of their education degrees are undertaken by females.

Mr Winther said in the most recent job advertisement for a junior primary teacher, just 10% of applicants were male.

"We don't choose male teachers because they are male - we choose the best person for the job," he said.

Mr Winther suggested salary packets, more innovative career paths and child protection fears could be the main reasons behind the shift in the male to female teacher ratio.

Former Matthew Flinders student Dan Keane is one of two male Prep teachers at the Stringybark Rd campus.

"I always knew what I wanted to do at uni, but I was one of five males in my cohort of 250," Mr Keane said.

Education students at University of the Sunshine Coast

Overall in education degrees at USC, the female to male ratio is 70/30

In Primary education and Early childhood, the split it's 80/20

The split is almost even at USC in the secondary education degree, 51/49

Topics:  editors picks education teachers

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