Wales sees teaching gender gap increase

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The gender gap in teaching is growing and headteachers are younger than ever, according to new figures for Wales.

Three out of four teachers are female, according to the General Teaching Council for Wales (GTCW). The proportion of male teachers has slipped below 25 per cent for the first time – with just 9,386 men registered and 28,476 women currently operating in the Welsh schools system.

Women do not dominant management posts to the same proportion, but the number of female heads is increasing. Women account for 57.2 per cent of all headteachers, almost 62 per cent of deputy heads and 52.2 per cent of assistant heads.

Heads in general have got younger. In March 2013, 49.3 per cent of heads were over 50. Four years ago, 60 per cent were. More than 40 per cent of headteachers are now in their forties.

Overall, there are now 37,862 teachers registered with the GTCW compared to the 38,879 four years ago; 46 per cent of NQTs are 25 or over.

Hayden Llewellyn, GTCW deputy chief executive, said: “It is interesting to see how the gap between the proportion of female teachers and women heads is continuing to narrow. The fact many women deputy/assistant heads have NPQH suggests this will continue.

“With many new teachers still aged 25 and over, it also seems that teaching is still a popular option for those seeking a career change. There was a noticeable rise in their number in 2009, and this figure has been broadly consistent since then.”

Dr Philip Dixon, director of ATL Cymru, added: “There are undoubtedly areas of concern – fewer than a quarter of teachers are now male, a fact that may well be having a detrimental effect on the learning of boys, and ethnic minority groups are still grossly unrepresented. But there are also encouraging signs – the average age of headteachers is declining and the long feared shortage of heads seems to be receding.”


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