Public schools struggle to attract male teachers as non-government sector scores more men
Because there are fewer of them, they have more choice and many choose schools where they are free to teach, instead of having to spend half their time just trying to get the kids to sit down. I was pleased to see the number of male teachers in my son's private High School. It was because of them that he became enthused about mathematics -- and he now has a B.Sc. with a First in Mathematics
Australian High Schools are heavily sorted. With 39% of the kids going to private schools, all the problem kids are in the State sector. So those who most need discipline and strong role models are least likely to get that. If the State schools had reasonable disciplinary policies, the chaos would vanish and a career there for those who really want to teach would be more atttractive
AUSTRALIA'S public schools are in the grip of a man drought. But it's raining men in the non-government sector, where the number of male teachers has grown 25 per cent since 2001.
At the same time, the number of male teachers has dropped 2 per cent at the nation's public schools, Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal.
Schools have struggled to attract male teachers to the female-dominated profession.
Teachers can earn more money in the non-government sector but there can also be more demands outside school hours, such as Saturday sport.
The New South Wales Department of Education and Communities said the national trend was reflected at the state's schools but they also had a very low resignation rate.
Last year there were 15,274 male teachers at public schools, representing about 27 per cent of teaching staff.
In 2001, male teachers made up about 31 per cent. There were 9734 male teachers in the non-government sector - about 30 per cent of the teaching workforce. In 2001, male teachers represented 23 per cent.
A department spokesman said strategies were in place to recruit more male teachers but quality was more important than gender.
One man happy to be working in the public system is 29-year-old Mark Platt, who teaches Year 6 students at Kellyville Ridge Public School.
The school has almost 800 students from the boom suburbs in Sydney's northwest and nine male teachers - a rarity in the public primary system.
Mr Platt said the pay rate was probably the reason men were attracted to the non-government sector but he enjoyed the challenges of a public school.
"I'm happy where I am and couldn't see myself at another school," he said.
The school's assistant principal, Luke Hogan, said he chose to teach at a public school because he believed in its values.
He said male teachers could provide a positive role model to boys who may not have a man in the family home.
"Every child deserves to have access to an education, whether their families can afford it or not," he said.
James Galea, 24, is the only male teacher in his nine-person faculty at Mitchell High School in Blacktown, which he said reflected the perception that teaching was not an attractive career path for men.
The English and drama teacher said his wife taught in the non-government sector and earned more money than him but the main difference between the two sectors was facilities.