Page last updated at 01:16 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

50% rise in men applying to be primary teachers

Male primary school teacher
Men are still in the minority as primary school teachers

The number of men applying for teacher training has risen sharply because of the recession, says the body responsible for training teachers.

There was a 52% rise in the number of men wanting to be primary school teachers - more than 4,700 in 2009/10, up about 1,500 compared with 2008/09.

Redundancies in the City have prompted the change, says the Training and Development Agency for Schools (TDA).

The number of applicants to teach maths and modern languages has also risen.

'Increasing status'

Traditionally in primary schools there has been a ratio of four female teachers to every male.

But rising unemployment has made the prospect of teaching five to 11-year-olds more attractive, according to the TDA.

A total of 4,746 men applied for the training in England in 2009/10 - up by about 1,500 on 2008/09.

TDA chief executive Graham Holley said: "Teaching is a profession with increasing status that is becoming more and more competitive.

"There has been a sharp rise in applications to teacher training from people working in other professions.

"They recognise that teaching can fulfil their ambitions, provide challenges, and offer rewards such as a competitive salary and great opportunities for career progression."

The TDA is hosting an event in London on Friday to encourage people to become teachers, with Schools Secretary Ed Balls expected to attend.??

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