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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 October, 2004, 11:07 GMT 12:07 UK
New dads 'tempted by teaching'
teacher helping pupil
More men have been attracted by job-based teacher training
New fathers are being targeted to try to get more men in England to teach.

A survey published by the Teacher Training Agency suggests 84% of graduate fathers have reconsidered their priorities after having children.

A quarter have already changed their job so they can enjoy more quality family time.

Almost a third of dads said parenthood had made them more likely to consider becoming a teacher - the hours and holidays being a key attraction.

More than half of those who felt that way said they had developed a new-found respect for teachers now that they were parents themselves.

Most fathers (80%) said parenthood had resulted in their learning a wide range of skills - including communication skills, creativity - and patience.


But another appeal of teaching was the hours: three-quarters liking the idea of being able to spend school holidays with their families, for instance.

The training agency's graduate recruitment scheme has been a success story, persuading many people with degrees to switch careers.

The latest figures show that such employment-based primary school training attracts double the number of men as traditional university-based courses (23.4% to 12.1%).

The training agency's acting director of teacher supply and recruitment, Mike Watkins, said: "Primary school teachers need to be able to communicate in ways which engage, enthuse and motivate young children.

"This research suggests that becoming a dad has given many male graduates more experience and confidence in these skills."

He said "attractive" pay, benefits and leadership opportunities - as well as the chance to work with young people - had attracted more men into teacher training in recent years.

But more were needed.

"We are actively encouraging interested fathers with degrees to apply for teacher training places," he said.

The survey, carried out by PCP data in September and October, involved 1,125 graduate fathers with children aged three to 16.

The deadline to enter teacher training next September is 1 December.

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