Why don’t more young men want to become primary school teachers?

It’s been a vexing question for years with the Queensland College of Teachers now commissioning a report into the issue.

Paxton Roth reports.


It’s a statistic that’s alarmed education authorities only 16 per cent of Queensland’s primary school teachers are men.

One of them, Daniel Ritchie, says many students would benefit from having a male teacher.

Daniel Ritchie, Primary School Teacher: “I think a male teacher really, not completely, but fills that void somewhat.”

The Queensland College of Teachers wants to know why so few men are interested in primary teaching, whether it’s the pay and conditions or the risk of being falsely accused of inappropriate behaviour.

Daniel Ritchie, Primary School Teacher: “Talking more and focusing more on the positives aspects of teaching and the positive impacts that males can make on student’s lives because that’s the rewarding aspect of it.”

QUT Student Teacher Robbie McLaughlan blames gender stereotypes.

Robbie McLaughlan, QUT Student Teacher: “Males often geared towards secondary and they do feel more comfortable in that setting.”

He says more incentives and higher pay would help.

Robbie McLaughlan, QUT Student Teacher: “I think it’s definitely more incentive based, especially in schools in a rural setting, maybe increasing pay rates will help.”

But the Queensland Teachers Union isn’t buying into the debate and wants the focus to remain on delivering the highest standard of education.

Kevin Bates, Queensland Teachers Union President: “It’s no more important than that teacher providing the best teaching that they can in the classroom whether they’re a male or female teacher should be irrelevant.”

The union admits though, more men would help.

Paxton Roth, QUT News.