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Human Rights Commission rejects Catholic male teacher solution

The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) has refused to give leave to the Sydney Catholic Education Office to specifically seek out male teachers.

The office had applied for a temporary exemption from the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) to offer primary teacher training scholarships to male students only.

The Sydney CEO claims the move was necessary to increase the number of male teachers so boys would have male role models.

The bid was rejected however, with the HREOC claiming the office failed to show that the underlying causes of gender imbalances in the teaching profession would be addressed by the scholarship scheme.

Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson issued a statement yesterday expressing his disappointment at the decision.

Citing Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released last week, he highlighted the urgency of recruiting more male teachers, particularly for primary schools.

Less than one in five people training to be teachers are male.

Dr Nelson said: "I look forward to working with teachers and teacher educators to do all that we can to arrest this trend - the long term consequences of which will be significant."

ABC/Dr Brendan Nelson

Male teacher scheme blocked (Daily Telegraph) (payment required)
Male teachers - Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Media Release from Federal Education Minister Brendan Nelson, 3/3/03)
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission - Notice of inquiry: Application for exemption under Sex Discrimination Act section 44: Catholic Education Office Scholarships for Male Trainee Teachers
Sydney CEO seeking discrimination law exemption (21/11/02)
Catholic Education Office Sydney
Catholic Commission for Employment Relations (NSW) | Submission to Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission Enquiry
Male teachers drop out of NT schools (Northern Territory News 27/2/03)
Decline in male teachers continues (ABC)
School's in for male teachers (The Mercury 27/2/03))
A minority male makes teaching his primary aim (The Age 4/3/03)
Queensland Catholic schools need more male teachers (2/7/02)
Wanted: more teachers (Catholic Weekly 26/8/01)

5 Mar 2003