Privatising the males

THE report on the male teacher exodus from public schools (‘‘Men turned off teaching’’ Herald 26/4) gives us a stepping-off point for a research-based community discussion. A few years ago I received a leaflet in which a newly opened private school in the Hunter boasted of having plenty of male teachers.

Male teachers are snapped up by private schools, which offer permanent employment with better pay and conditions, plus amazing resources. On the other hand, public schools welcome casual teachers, who cost less and fit with the state government’s cost-savings agenda. The O’Farrell government recently announced a new raft of such measures.

The shadow of paedophilia hangs over the male teaching profession and the state government’s approach to the problem has effectively stigmatised all male teachers. This has driven many out of the system.

Poor pay, low morale, endless cost cutting and worsening workplace conditions continue to drive many men (and women) away from the teaching service.

John Butler, Windella Downs

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