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Queensland Union rejects Catholic call for more male teachers

The Queensland Teachers Union has rejected Catholic Education Commission calls for more male teachers, saying that "diversity" among teaching staff is more important.

Union president Julie-Ann McCullough said the union is "not worried" about dwindling numbers of male teachers. Just 20% of teachers in Queensland primary schools are men.

"In our view, it is more important to have a range of backgrounds in schools, people from Aboriginal and Islander backgrounds and teachers with disabilities, rather than concentrating on the male and female teacher role," Ms McCullough said.

Last week, the Queensland Catholic Education Commission said it would consider implementing men-only scholarships for primary school teacher training.

Commission executive director Joe McCorley said men made up only 20% of teachers in Queensland Catholic schools and there was a desperate need to restore a gender balance.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show that between 1992 and 2002, the national proportion of male school teachers declined from 25% to 20.9% in primary schools and from 49.4% to 44.9% in secondary schools, both public and private.

The Sunday Mail

Male teaching 'bribes' under fire (The Sunday Age)
Sydney CEO seeks review on male teacher ruling (13/3/03)
Editorial: Gender imbalance (Catholic Leader)
Teaching as a vocation (Catholic Leader)
Queensland schools to press ahead on gender balance (6/3/03)
Editorial: Finding ways to train more male teachers (Courier-Mail)
Queensland Catholic Education Commission
Human Rights Commission rejects Catholic male teacher solution (5/3/03)
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)

A Geraldton teacher who went public with his homosexuality has been told by the Catholic Education Office that he cannot teach in any of its WA schools.

70 year old Tweed Harris works as a relief teacher in six primary schools in Geraldton and has worked in primary schools and kindergartens for 38 years.

Mr Harris, 70, said no school had complained about his homosexuality until he published his autobiography last month. In it, he said he had been homosexual his whole life and married to a man for seven years.

School principal Sr Marie Townsend phoned Mr Harris on Thursday and said he would not be working at the school again.

Mr Harris conceded he was in breach of his employment conditions and said he was aware Catholic schools were exempt from equal opportunity legislation in hiring teachers.

He told The West Australian that he is concerned about what the policy teaches students if schools "expelled qualified people who honestly represented themselves".

The West Australian

Catholic Education Office of Western Australia
Gay law reforms to hit Queensland Catholic schools (8/11/02)
Catholic newspaper drawn into discrimination law controversy (20/11/02)
Laws threaten Church values (The Catholic Weekly, reproduced from The Catholic Leader)
Catholic Leader front page 18/11/02
Church may fight Queensland discrimination laws (14/11/02)
Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland | Re: Discrimination Law Amendment Bill launch
The Queensland Cabinet | Government Updates Discrimination Laws (media release 6/11/02)
Gay law reforms to hit Queensland Catholic schools (8/11/02)
Catholic Education Commission Queensland
CEO Archdiocese of Brisbane

17 Mar 2003