HC Deb 03 July 2000 vol 353 cc73-4W
Dr. Kumar

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment (1) what steps he has taken to increase the number of male primary school teachers; [128291]

(2) what steps he has taken to increase the recruitment of male undergraduates to primary school teacher training. [128292]

Ms Estelle Morris

The Government recognise that men are currently under-represented in primary schools and would therefore like to see more qualifying as primary teachers. The trial introduction of £6,000 training salaries for postgraduate primary training may well encourage more applications from men for 2000–01. This will be evaluated. Under-represented groups, including men in the primary sector, will also be a priority target for the new £13,000 grants to schools who accept a trainee on the employment-based Graduate Teacher Programme.

The Teacher Training Agency has asked all providers of initial teacher training to set targets and draw up Action Plans for increasing the numbers of men entering undergraduate and postgraduate courses. Over 90 per cent. have now done so. In addition, more than a quarter of the taster courses funded by the Teacher Training Agency in the period June 2000–August 2001, which are designed to give prospective trainee teachers an insight into what teaching is like, are specifically focused on recruiting men.