Only 1 in 4 public teachers male

Only 1 in 4 public teachers male

Just one in four teachers working in WA public schools is a man.

Figures from the Education Department's annual report show that men made up 25.5 per cent of overall staff last year, including principals and heads of learning areas.

The proportion of male teachers was even lower in primary schools, with men comprising just 19.9 per cent of primary school staff.

Only 11 men worked in kindergartens across the State and 50 taught pre-primary classes.

The gender imbalance was not as marked in high schools, with male teachers making up 42 per cent of secondary school staff.

A comparison with previous annual reports from the past five years shows a clear downward trend in the proportion of men working in public schools, dropping steadily each year from 28.6 per cent in 2009.

The trend has continued in spite of measures put in place in recent years to try to convince more young men to take up teaching as a career.

Education Minister Peter Collier said ambassadors had been giving talks to groups of boys in Years 10, 11 and 12 as part of the males in primary program, designed to raise awareness of primary teaching as a career opportunity for young men.

"The Education Department will continue to explore further ways of getting this important message out," he said.

Mr Collier said it was now possible for a student to complete their primary schooling without ever being taught by a male teacher but he hoped to see the trend turn around soon.

"It is important that young students have strong male role models in their lives and it would be much more beneficial to have more males in our classrooms, not only from an educational level, but from a social perspective as well," he said.

"With the significant number of single parent homes in our society, some young children miss out on strong male role models. I believe they are extremely important in a child's life."

State School Teachers Union president Pat Byrne said it was important to provide students with male and female role models in schools.

"If we do want to attract the best and brightest into teaching then we have to look seriously at the pay scale," she said.

Ms Byrne believed some men were put off primary school teaching because of a public perception they should not work with young children.