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Endangered Species: Male Teachers Decline In Education System Across Australia

Joel, a male teacher working at a primary school on the Central Coast of New South Wales, has become an endangered species as the number of male teachers continues to decline in schools.

In Australia, the number of male teachers has steadily declined for decades, raising concerns about the gender imbalance in the education system.

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On today’s episode of The Briefing, we talk to Joel, a male teacher who has been teaching since 2015, and Angelo Gavrielatos, the President of the NSW Teachers Federation, to find out the impact the decline is having.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics showed that in 1970, women comprised 60 per cent of the Australian teaching workforce, while men made up 40 per cent.

In 2020, half a century later, the composition of the 288,000 full-time teaching staff nationwide revealed a significant gender imbalance, with women comprising 72 per cent and men occupying 28 per cent.

Joel has witnessed this decline first-hand, and he says one of the factors is associated with the current climate of accusations.

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I had a male teacher who his girl student told him, ‘I don’t like you to teach, and I’m going to get you fired’, and she made an accusation that was proved to be false, but still, his reputation was tarnished enough that he decided to leave,”

Joel said.

He also says another factor contributing to the decline is the mounting workload and inadequate salary compensation.

I think many guys I’ve seen have just changed lanes and gone into something else where the workload is less for the money they’re getting.”

Mr Gavrielatos has agreed with Joel’s opinions and says policies and bureaucracies are failing to tackle the root cause of the decline in male teacher numbers.

He says the root causes are related to base salaries and conditions of work.

Our schools are a microcosm of what happens in our broader society, and therefore we want to see our staffing reflect the society at large.”

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