New figures show there's a dearth of men working in the education sector, with as few as zero male staff employed in government-funded nurseries over the last five years.
No male staff have been recruited to work permanently in early years education across the island’s publicly-funded schools over the last five years and women massively outnumber men at all levels of education, it has emerged.
The figures come from an Freedom of Information (FOI) request by Express amid calls in the UK to encourage more men into the profession.
Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP recently announced a £30,000 grant to support a Fatherhood Institute scheme to bring more male teachers and teaching staff into early education and challenge stereotypes around men’s role in nursery education.
Pictured: Children and Families Minister Nadhim Zahawi MP is championing a scheme in the UK to encourage more men into early years education (Press Association).
In an attempt to ensure the nursery-age children have access to both male and female role-models, the scheme aims to break down barriers stopping men from entering careers in the education sector.
In England, men make up just 3% of early years staff – but as far as Jersey is concerned, the contrast is far more stark with no men working in States nursery classes for that past five years, whereas 74 women are employed in early years.
Further up in primary and secondary schools, the statistics show that more men enter the profession, but the overall picture is overwhelmingly female.
As of April this year, male staff in States primary schools represented around one sixth of their female counterparts with 604 women working at the level, compared with 101 men.
Pictured: The FOI figures requested by Express.
Higher up in secondary schools, the gender gap narrows more, but women still make up the majority of education staff.
This year’s figures show that whilst 431 female staff are working in secondary school education, just over half of that figure – 223 men – are employed.
The FOI request makes clear that these figures only speak to schools which are publicly-funded or partially publicly-funded. Therefore, data from entirely private schools like Beaulieu, De La Salle, FCJ, Helvetia, St. Christopher’s, St. George’s and St. Michael’s are not included.
While no men have been permanently recruited to the early years sector, a spokesperson for the Government explained that there are “a small number of male teachers (three)” employed elsewhere in States primary schools who do occasionally teach in the early years classes, and that there are “one or two” male members of staff who are “level two/three qualified practitioners working in the private sector early years settings.”
Pictured: No men have worked in the early years level of public sector schools for the past five years.
In terms of addressing this imbalance within the education sector, the spokesperson added: “…It is difficult to recruit men into the childcare sector across all jurisdictions. This issue is being considered as part of the British Irish Council (BIC) early years work stream, as it is common to all BIC members.
“The issue will also be a focus area of the Best Start Partnership here in Jersey - to address the gender imbalance through supporting local recruitment initiatives with Highlands College. Other ideas include holding a recruitment fair to attract more young people into the childcare profession.”
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