Over a quarter of primary schools in Sunderland do not have a single male classroom teacher, new analysis from Warwick Business School shows.
The research, which analysed the latest data from the annual School Workforce Census, found that 27.2% of primary schools in the city have no male teachers.
It also revealed that over half (50.4%) of schools in the North East do not have a single male leadership teacher. This could have a detrimental impact on educational attainment for the region’s youngsters, as schools in special measures are less likely to have a male classroom teacher, the study found.
Dr Josh Fullard, Assistant Professor of Behavioural Science at Warwick Business School, said: “Worryingly, the decline in the number of male classroom teachers is getting worse.
“This has an impact on the education that children receive. There is a large body of research that shows students benefit from being educated by a teacher with certain similarities to them.
“Boys from less affluent backgrounds are already the lowest achievers in school. They are the students who would benefit most from a male teacher, but they are less and less likely to have one.
“It’s not just boys who are losing out. Having no gender diversity could negatively affect how a school functions, as schools in special measures are less likely to have a male classroom teacher.”
In a bid to attract more male teachers into the profession, the study proposed new measures to help recruit and retain teachers, including raising pay by more than 10%, a merit-based reduction in tuition fees for university-led teacher training, and revising the outdated pay policy that failed to reflect regional differences in local labour markets.
AK Teaching, one of the North of England’s largest independent teacher recruitment agencies which is headquartered in Sunderland, has also called for more to be done to encourage more men to enter the profession.
Over the past 12 months, the company has placed a number male teachers into primary teaching roles across the city but has seen first-hand the many recruitment and retention challenges facing schools.
Jonathan Greener, a director at AK Teaching who himself is a former teacher, said: “We’ve seen less and less men entering the profession over recent years and the research from WBS proves just how much of an impact this is having on the education of our young people.
“Not only does it leave us with a less diverse workforce, but it also reduces the quality of teaching – as the findings from Ofsted show – so it is vital that we do more to encourage men to explore careers in the profession.
“The challenges faced in classrooms across the region currently is evident in the statistics. The retention of those both in the profession and those entering the profession is at a critical point if we are to continue to inspire young minds through our education system. It is evident that we are failing as a nation to plug this chronic shortage of teachers and more must be done if we are to continue competing with our G7 rivals when it comes to education.”